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Annual March for Boris Nemtsov Canceled Due to Coronavirus

People lay flowers at the Boris Nemtsov memorial all year round. Valery Sharifulin / TASS

The annual march in honor of slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov will not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of its organizers announced on Monday. 

Supporters have held memorial marches for Nemtsov every Feb. 27 near the site on a bridge steps away from the Kremlin where he was shot dead in 2015. Though five men have been convicted for his killing, his supporters say the architects of the murder have yet to be brought to justice.

The march’s organizing committee has asked Moscow authorities to not interfere with those who wish to lay flowers at the spot where Nemtsov was murdered, liberal lawmaker and march co-organizer Dmitry Gudkov wrote on Telegram.

At 11:31 p.m., the time when Nemtsov was shot, organizers will also hold a minute of silence.

A key figure of early reforms in post-Soviet Russia, Nemtsov had been an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, calling his government increasingly undemocratic and corrupt.

In recent weeks, thousands of Russians nationwide have been detained during protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and the opposition leader’s key allies are now facing criminal charges for violating coronavirus-related bans on mass gatherings. 

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