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You’ll Soon Be Able to Snapchat and Instagram From Moscow’s Most Famous Cemeteries

Authorities in Moscow announced Thursday that they will be launching free Wi-Fi services in three of the capital's most popular cemeteries.

Moscow, RUSSIAN FEDERATION: People stand near the grave of Russian former President Boris Yeltsin at Novodevichie cemetery in Moscow, 26 April 2007. Russia bid a solemn farewell 25 April 2007 to Boris Yeltsin, its first post-Soviet leader, in a funeral presided over by some two dozen white-robed priests, with a crowd of dignitaries including President Vladimir Putin and two former US leaders in attendance. AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Moscow, RUSSIAN FEDERATION: People stand near the grave of Russian former President Boris Yeltsin at Novodevichie cemetery in Moscow, 26 April 2007. Russia bid a solemn farewell 25 April 2007 to Boris Yeltsin, its first post-Soviet leader, in a funeral presided over by some two dozen white-robed priests, with a crowd of dignitaries including President Vladimir Putin and two former US leaders in attendance. AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Cemeteries: places to bury and honor the dead, to say prayers and leave flowers by the graves of loved ones — and now, to check Facebook and email?

Starting next year in Moscow, that’s exactly what visitors will be able to do in three of the city’s most popular graveyards, home to memorials honoring Russian historical figures ranging from Nikita Khrushchev, who led the Soviet Union after Joseph Stalin’s death, to Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation.

The free Wi-Fi service will allow visitors to surf the web and access special maps relevant to each cemetery. The Vagankovo, Troyekurovskoye, and Novodevichy cemeteries will be part of the initial rollout, which may later expand to the rest of Moscow’s 133 burial sites.

“These cemeteries are like open-air museums,” Lilya Lvovskaya, a spokeswoman from a Russian funeral service that works in the cemeteries, told Agence France-Presse. “People often come and find themselves standing in front of a grave and want to know more about the person lying there.”

This is just the latest in a number of recent moves by Moscow to modernize the city’s many sprawling cemeteries, home to more than 8 million graves. Two of the Russian capital’s graveyards already host special terminals that allow visitors to find out information about funerals, view photos of the dead, and use a GPS to pinpoint the precise location of a specific grave.

And in October, Moscow launched an online auctioning system for residents to purchase family plots.

Photo credit: VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images

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