Police in Nizhny Novgorod have asked the organizers of a march honoring slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov to buy metal security fences at their own expense, according to Arkady Galker, one of the event’s planners. The demonstration is scheduled for Feb. 27, on the second anniversary of Nemtsov's assassination.
Galker, who chairs a local branch of the Solidarnost opposition movement, told the television station Dozhd that the city issued organizers a police report recommending that demonstrators pay for a metal barricade to fence off the perimeter of its marching route.
Apparently, Nizhny Novgorod’s police don’t have any fences left to offer; they were forced to surrender them all to the National Guard last year, when Vladimir Putin reorganized Russian law enforcement by creating an entirely new federal agency, Galker says.
The recommendations by the city’s police are reportedly based on Russian federal laws on public demonstrations, which set certain expectations for organizers. The organizers for the Nemtsov march in Nizhny Novgorod, however, complain that they’re being asked to do the job of police. Galker says his group will demand the full protection of local law enforcement.
In any event, the march has already been approved by the city and should go ahead at the end of the month, fences or not.
Boris Nemtsov, an anti-Kremlin opposition leader and former Russian prime minister, was fatally shot in the back in a drive-by shooting while walking across Moscow's Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge on Feb. 27, 2015.
This year, Moscow will hold its memorial march for Nemtsov on Feb. 26.