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Thousands of Russians March in Honor of Slain Opposition Leader in Moscow

An opposition march in Moscow evolved into a memorial march for opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin on Saturday. Thousands of Russians streamed through Moscow to show Russian President Vladimir Putin they are not afraid to voice their opinions and wish for a “Russia without Putin.” Images of the march flooded social media.

A gunman killed Nemtsov early Saturday morning on the Bolshoy Moskvoretskiy Bridge, feet away from the Kremlin. The former deputy prime minister organized the original march for March 1 “to protest against the economic policies of” Putin and the “war in eastern Ukraine.” He provided an interview two hours before he died:

In Nemtsov’s last interview, just two hours before his murder, he suggested asking Putin a simple question: “Why are Russian soldiers dying and you, as Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Putin, lie and claim they’re not fighting? We see the graves of these soldiers … in Kostroma, in Pskov, in Nizhny Novgorod.”

“I knew Boris for many years,” said politician Valeriy Borschev. “His was a policy that placed human rights at the forefront. And he always spoke for the unification of the opposition. For example, he supported me in the elections. This is a politician who was so needed in Russia, and [his death] is a great loss for the country.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed Nemtsov was killed because he was going to reveal information about Russia’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. The Kremlin continues to deny involvement despite a mountain of evidence against them. The European Union and Secretary of State John Kerry admitted a year later that Russian troops exist in eastern Ukraine.

Translation: “We are Boris”

On February 10, Nemtsov told Sobesednik.ru he was afraid Putin and his government were plotting to kill him. Numerous critics of Putin are dead, vanished, exiled, or in jail. The Associated Press documented the most well-known cases of opposition figures.

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