(Reuters) – The wife of the late Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Yulia Navalnaya, has thanked the many thousands of Russians who have queued for hours to visit her husband’s grave.

“Many people wonder why Alexei fought so hard and never gave up. For your sake. For the beautiful, brave and honest people who now come in an endless queue to say goodbye to him,” Navalnaya wrote on X on Monday.

“Thank you. This is the true love of the people.”

Thousands of Navalny’s supporters gathered in Moscow’s Maryino neighbourhood on the day of his funeral last Friday to pay their respects to Russia’s most famous opposition leader, who died in an Arctic penal colony on Feb. 16, aged 47.

Defying warnings by President Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman against holding unauthorised rallies, many chanted Navalny’s name and slogans such as “Putin is a murderer” and “No to war”. People formed huge queues again over the weekend to visit Navalny’s grave, which lies submerged in flowers.

Yulia Navalnaya has accused Putin of having her husband murdered, and Navalny’s team says it plans to investigate and publish the names of those responsible.

The Kremlin denies any involvement and has declined to comment on Navalny’s funeral, before or since it took place. Navalny’s supporters say the death certificate stated he died of natural causes, something they refuse to accept.

(Reporting and writing by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by William Maclean)

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