Internet InfoMedia russians flock to navalnys grave as they grapple with his legacy
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The loss of the optimism in the face of oppression espoused by Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, has hit many Russians hard. Now, as one mourner said, “I don’t have any vision of the future.”

Marina, a Moscow lawyer, decided to stay home when the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny was buried last Friday. She had expected a big crowd and widespread arrests at the Borisovsky Cemetery, given Russia’s current climate of repression, and thought it would be better to pay her respects another day.

She wasn’t alone in that thought. When she came to lay flowers on Sunday, she had to wait in line for up to 40 minutes, Marina said in a phone interview from Moscow. (Like others, she asked that her last name be withheld for fear of retribution.)

After Mr. Navalny’s funeral — when thousands of mourners had waited outside the church and marched across the Moskva River to the cemetery where he was interred — it was widely expected that the crowds would thin out. Presumably, that was the hope inside the Kremlin. In the days since, however, the gravesite has become a place of pilgrimage for those yearning for his vision of “the beautiful Russia of the future” to become a reality.

Yet, with Mr. Navalny’s death, at 47, in one of Russia’s harshest and most remote penal colonies, that dream now seems distant to Marina and many others.

“I didn’t think that he would be killed in prison,” she said. “I thought he would actually get out, and it would be a turning point, and everything would change. I haven’t fully processed Navalny’s death. For now, I don’t know, I don’t have any vision of the future.”

That is not only because he died, she added, “but because forces of evil are closing in,” a reference to Russia’s increasingly totalitarian bent.

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