Alexei Navalny’s supporters said on Thursday that attempts to hire a hearse to take his body to his funeral had been prevented after funeral homes in Moscow received anonymous threats that Navalny’s body should not be taken anywhere.

A memorial service had been planned two weeks after the 47-year-old former politician died suddenly in a Siberian penal colony after struggles to release his body after his death for which many have accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of being responsible.

Russian authorities have blocked any plans to hold a large civil memorial service. A religious service will be held in the Church of the Icon of Mother of God in Maryino, the Moscow district where Navalny used to live. He will then be buried at the Borisov cemetery around 2.5km (1.5 miles) away on the other side of the Moskva River.


Navalny’s supporters, including his wife Yulia Navalnaya who is currently in exile outside of Russia, have said they are concerned that the Kremlin plans to disrupt the funeral and the police may attempt to arrest those attending.

Navalny’s mother Lyudmila Ivanovna is expected to be a part of his funeral although it is unclear who else, if anyone, will be allowed into the church for the service.

A week ago, when she took possession of her son’s body after repeated pleas to the Russian authorities, Lyudmila said officials applied pressure on her to agree for the burial to be done in secret.

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A spokesperson for Navalny’s team, Kira Yarmysh, put out an appeal on X/ Twitter for people to attend and included videos that showed people congregating for the funeral being kept back from the church by steel barriers and a strong police presence.

The post also included a YouTube link giving live coverage of the event.

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