Thousands of people are marching on a boulevard in central Moscow to commemorate Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader who was gunned down five years ago.
The Saturday afternoon march also is protesting proposed constitutional changes that are seen as a way for President Vladimir Putin to retain power once his term ends in 2024. Placards carried by the crowd included “No to eternal Putin” and “No to the usurpation of power.”
Nemtsov, one of Putin’s most charismatic and energetic opponents, was shot to death of Feb. 27, 2015, as he walked along a bridge over the Moscow River adjacent to the Kremlin.
An officer in the security forces of Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader was sentenced to 20 years for firing the shots that killed Nemtsov and four other men were sentenced to 11 to 19 years for involvement, but who organized and ordered the assassination has not been determined.
Demonstrations in Nemtsov’s memory also took place in large cities across Russia, including St. Petersburg, where about 2,000 people gathered, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok. The arrests-monitoring organization OVD-Info said five demonstrators were detained in St. Petersburg, but there was no immediate information on charges.