Tribute to Nemtsov: Thousands join Moscow march in memory of slain Russian politician

Tribute to Nemtsov: Thousands join Moscow march in memory of slain Russian politician
Thousands of people have turned out on the streets of central Moscow to commemorate opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, who was killed in the Russian capital four years ago.

The event, which has been held annually since the politician’s death, was organized by Nemtsov’s ‘PARNAS’ party along with some other opposition forces, including an NGO led by Kremlin critic Aleksey Navalny.

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Organizers said beforehand that up to 30,000 people may show up at the march. However, police eventually put the number of demonstrators at some 6,000 people. An NGO that also counted the participants said that the number might amount to over 10,000. The demonstrators were carrying Russian national flags as well as portraits of the slain politician.

The march went peacefully as the Moscow police said there were no incidents during the event. The rally was coordinated with the Moscow authorities and even attended by some local deputies.

Following the march, some people also turned up at the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge located near the Kremlin, where the politician was killed, to lay flowers. Similar commemorative events were also held in some other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod, which is Nemtsov’s birthplace.

Nemtsov, a former governor and later deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, became a prominent opposition figure in the early 2000s. On February 27, 2015, he was killed in a drive-by gun attack on a bridge near the Kremlin.

In 2017, five people were sentenced to lengthy jail terms for carrying out the killing, which, according to the investigators, was provoked by Nemtsov’s anti-Islam statements made in the wake of the terrorist attack on French satirical outlet Charlie Hebdo in January 2015. However, the fact that the masterminds behind the murder were not identified during the probe, sparked some criticism from Nemtsov’s supporters and opposition activists.

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