Fewer Russians have heard of the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov five years after his death, the independent Levada Center polling agency said Friday.
Nemtsov was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015, on a bridge near the Kremlin’s walls. A gunman and four accomplices were jailed for up to 20 years in 2017, but Nemtsov’s allies have criticized the investigation for failing to identify those who had ordered the killing.
The share of Russians who have never heard of Nemtsov’s murder has increased from 17% in February 2019 to 27% in February 2020, according to Levada’s results.
The share of those who say they know of Nemtsov’s murder declined from 82% last year to 72% this year. Among them, 29% said they believe Nemtsov was killed "for criticizing the authorities” and another 29% said they “don’t understand” the motive behind his killing.
One-quarter of the respondents who knew about the murder said they think Nemtsov “fell victim to criminal disputes,” while 13% were unable to answer.
Nemtsov’s allies are scheduled to hold a commemorative march in his memory in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities Saturday. Several foreign diplomats paid respects Thursday at the bridge where Nemtsov was shot and killed; the U.S. Embassy in Moscow urged Russia to find the murder’s organizers; and Czech authorities renamed the square in Prague where Russia’s embassy is located after Nemtsov.
The Kremlin said Thursday it does not plan to commemorate Nemtsov’s memory.
Levada conducted the survey among 1,614 respondents in 50 Russian regions on Feb. 20-26.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.