Thousands march in support of murdered Russian politician

Mourners-1-3-15.(1)Tens of thousands of people marched in central Moscow to honour opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday.

They carried portraits of Mr Nemtsov and banners saying “I am not afraid”.

He had been due to lead an opposition march yesterday but his killing turned the event into a mourning rally.

Mr Nemtsov’s allies have accused the Kremlin of involvement, but President Vladimir Putin condemned the murder as “vile” and vowed to find the killers.

Opposition supporters gathered at a point not far from the Kremlin. The first marchers went to the spot on Great Moskvoretsky Bridge where Mr Nemtsov was killed.

Several thousand people also marched in St Petersburg.

Moscow city authorities had previously approved a march for up to 50,000 people but organisers said more people might now attend following the murder.

There has been no official figure on turnout yet, with estimates ranging from 16,000 to 70,000.

Many people are carrying the national flag and flowers to lay at the scene of the killing, which is already piled high with tributes. A few were holding Ukrainian flags.

Some of the placards read “He died for the future of Russia” and “They were afraid of you, Boris”.

Ahead of the rally, opposition politician Gennady Gudkov told Reuters: “If we can stop the campaign of hate that’s being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia. If not, then we face the prospect of mass civil conflict.”

Pro-Kremlin activists from the group Anti-Maidan said they would not disrupt the march.

–BBC

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