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Moscow Authorities Reject Lawmaker's Request to Memorialize Slain Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

Moscow authorities have rejected an opposition lawmaker's request to rename a public place or install a commemorative plaque in honor of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin in February.

Dmitry Gudkov, who sits as an independent in the state legislature, had requested last month that the Russian capital memorialize Nemtsov, who was shot down on Moscow's Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge on the night of Feb. 27, by renaming a street or a bridge after him, or by placing a commemorative plaque somewhere in the city.

City Hall rejected his appeal, saying that streets and other public places could only be renamed after ten years had passed since a person's death. The reply Gudkov received from Moscow authorities, published by RBC news site, also said that commemorative plaques could only be installed at the residence or workplace of a deceased person, respectively 10 and two years after their death.

In his reply to to municipal authorities, which Gudkov posted on his Facebook page Monday,  the lawmaker pointed out that they had not abided by their own rules. He claimed that Moscow streets had been named after former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn less than a decade after their passing.

The mayor of Moscow, Gudkov claimed, could make exceptions to city regulations for historical figures or events. The lawmaker, who told Dozhd television that he was poised to take up the issue with President Vladimir Putin, said Nemtsov's significant contributions to Russian democracy made him deserving of an exception.

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