A fringe pro-Kremlin group has reportedly attacked a memorial dedicated to Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow, removing the wreath left recently by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton during his visit to Russia on Oct. 23.
Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and fierce Putin critic in his later years, was gunned down on the evening of Feb. 27, 2015, while crossing a bridge overlooking the Kremlin. After his death, a makeshift memorial was set up on the bridge, which has since been repeatedly vandalized by the hyper-nationalist SERB group.
Grisha Saksonov, one of the men guarding the memorial, said that SERB members had vandalized the memorial in front of the police, who threatened to send him to a “madhouse” after he complained to them about the incident, the Nemtsov Most Facebook group reported.
After the incident, SERB leader Igor Beketov denied the reports to the RBC news website, saying that his organization had nothing to do with the attack on the Nemtsov memorial.
“We would have liked to do it, but it wasn’t it. We envy those who did it,” Tarasevich was cited as saying.
SERB members have in the past targeted art exhibits as well as members of the Russian opposition. Last year, opposition leader Alexei Navalny was hospitalized after a member of the SERB group sprayed him with a green antiseptic, causing a chemical injury to his eye.