Opposition in Russia to commemorate murder of Kremlin critic Nemtsov
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – Opposition members in Russia are planning to mark the sixth anniversary of Boris Nemtsov’s murder in central Moscow on Saturday. This comes amid a clampdown on protests against the incarceration of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The critic’s allies said charges of parole violations against him were trumped up and they have urged his supporters to lay flowers on the Moscow bridge where Nemtsov was fatally shot on the night of Feb. 27, 2015.
The allies of Navalny have declared a moratorium on street protests until spring in the wake of several nationwide rallies being broken up by police who arrested more than 11,000 people.
Opposition members urged Moscow residents to come out and pay their respects to Nemstov observing social distancing and wearing face coverings. Moscow authorities rejected a request to hold a commemorative march citing pandemic restrictions.
“This is a memorial event, not a rally or a march,” opposition politicians said. “We recommend that you refrain from bringing posters. There is no need to give any reasons for the police to detain (participants).”
Nemtsov was deputy prime minister for a brief period in the late 90s before joining the opposition. He had been working on a report examining the role of Russia in the conflict in Ukraine at the time of his killing.
After his murder, opposition members began guarding a makeshift memorial on the bridge when municipal authorities refused a request to place a plaque there in his honour.
Municipal workers have taken down the memorial many times over the years. Police detained eight people last week while they tried to place flowers at the memorial.
A court sentenced five men to imprisonment in 2017 ranging from 11 to 20 years for the murder of Nemtsov. But his allies said at that time that the people who orchestrated his murder remained at large.