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Alexei Navalny: Crowds chant and clap as Putin critic’s hearse arrives for funeral | World News

Thousands of people have gathered in Moscow for Alexei Navalny’s funeral despite the risk of arrest – with a large crowd clapping and chanting his name as his body was carried inside the church.

The funeral of the prominent Vladimir Putin critic, whose death was announced on 16 February, was being held under heavy police presence.

Hours before the funeral was set to start, hundreds waited to enter the church.

After the hearse arrived at the church, the crowd applauded and chanted: “Alexei! Alexei!”

Navalny’s funeral – follow latest updates

The Kremlin has urged those gathering in Moscow and other places not to break the law, saying any “unauthorised (mass) gatherings” are violations.

Mr Navalny died at a penal colony within the Artic Circle while serving a 19-year prison sentence on charges his supporters said were politically motivated.

The circumstances of Mr Navalny’s death remain unclear – but several world leaders, including Joe Biden, have directly blamed Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

Mr Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya has also pointed the finger at the Russian president, claiming her husband could have been poisoned with novichok.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in his death.

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This story originally appeared on Skynews

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