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Home News Russians gather to remember slain Putin critic Nemtsov

Russians gather to remember slain Putin critic Nemtsov

Published on 07/04/2015

Hundreds of supporters of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov gathered Tuesday at the site near the Kremlin where he was killed to commemorate his death.

Friends and ex-colleagues of the murdered Kremlin critic held a “Minute of no silence” 40 days after he was gunned down on a central Moscow bridge.

Cars honked their horns as they passed by the flower-strewn memorial that has been set up at the spot Nemtsov died, with doubts swirling over the probe into the former deputy prime minister’s brazen murder.

“He was a free thinker, someone who was truly free,” a man who gave his name as Yan told AFP. “He has always been a symbol of unparallelled courage, someone to look up to and follow.”

The bridge has been covered by flowers, photos and messages, and continues to be a site for Muscovites to say goodbye to the charismatic politician.

The memorial has, however, been vandalised by nationalist activists and city authorities cleared the spot once, alleging the bridge had to be washed.

In Russian Orthodox custom, 40 days after the person’s death is commemorated with a feast as that is when the soul is believed to leave this world.

The killing of Nemtsov — a charismatic reformer — was the highest-profile killing of a Kremlin critic during Vladimir Putin’s 15 years in charge of Russia.

Retired engineer Valentina said she would have liked to see Nemtsov as president: “In that case we would not feel shame for our country, we would be proud.”

“How could anyone do it like that, in the back?” she said of the shooting. “What country do we live in? They kill one, then the other… these things should not happen.”

She added that she has no hope that those who were really responsible for the killing would ever be brought to justice.

Five men from Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region are currently being held in custody on charges of carrying out a contract hit on Nemtsov.

But there has been no indication over who ordered the killing, with allies of Nemtsov fingering the Kremlin over his death.