Russia: Thousands march in memory of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov | News | DW | 29.02.2020
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Russia: Thousands march in memory of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov

"No to eternal Putin," chanted protesters in Moscow and other Russian cities as they marched in remembrance of Boris Nemtsov. The charismatic opposition leader was gunned down on a bridge near the Kremlin five years ago.

Watch video 01:27

Supporters mark 5 years since Boris Nemtsov killing

Thousands of people marched in Moscow and other cities across Russia on Saturday in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered five years ago.

Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down in Moscow on February 27, 2015, as he was walking on a bridge near the Kremlin.

Protesters carried banners with Nemtsov's photo during the march in the Russian capital, accompanied by massive police numbers.

Many also protested proposed constitutional changes that critics say would enable President Vladimir Putin to retain power after his current term ends in 2024.

"No to eternal Putin" and "No to the usurpation of power," read several posters in Moscow.

Police said that around 10,000 people took part in the march, while a nongovernmental organization that monitors political rally attendance estimated over 22,000 people were present.

Read more: Boris Nemtsov: The man who dared to criticize Vladimir Putin

'Putin, go away'

At one of the marches in the city of Yekaterinburg, protesters told DW's Moscow correspondent Emily Sherwin that Nemtsov is continuing to unite members of the opposition even in death.

"I am grieving for Boris Nemtsov. And I don't agree with what is going on in the country," one woman said, adding: "Nemtsov represents freedom."

Many protesters chanted "Freedom to political prisoners" and "Putin, go away" while others carried posters reading: "The power is in the truth and the truth is on our side."

Nemtsov, who served as a former deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, was known as a charismatic and energetic Kremlin critic.

In 2017, a former security force officer from Chechnya was found guilty of murdering Nemtsov and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Four other men were also found guilty of being involved in the killing and were sentenced to 11 to 19 years.

Russian authorities still have not yet determined who organized and ordered the assassination.

DW's Moscow correspondent Emily Sherwin contributed reporting to this article.

Watch video 00:31

Yavlinsky: 'It was a political murder for which Vladimir Putin was responsible'

rs/jlw (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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