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A woman lays flowers at the place where Boris Nemtsov was killed on February 26.

Moscow authorities have again removed an improvised memorial near the Kremlin where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was gunned down two years ago.

Activists said on March 2 that local authorities had removed flowers and posters from the site.

Nemtsov, a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, was fatally shot on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge on February 27, 2015.

Authorities regularly remove the makeshift memorial.

The last time flowers and candles were removed from the bridge was on February 27 -- the second anniversary of his death.

Police also detained six activists on February 27.

The detainments took place a day after about 15,000 people marched in central Moscow to commemorate the opposition politician.

Ekho Moskvy radio reports that Moscow authorities announced a tender on March 1 to reconstruct the bridge during 2018 and 2019. The reconstruction activities might block access to at least some parts of the bridge.

Five suspects from Russia's North Caucasus region are being tried for Nemtsov's killing, but relatives and supporters believe those who carried out the contract-style killing were following orders from someone higher up.

With reporting by Ekho Moskvy
Ilmi Umerov, deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis (file photo)

A Crimean Tatar leader who has criticized Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula is expected to go on trial within weeks.

Ilmi Umerov, deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis, said on Facebook that investigators from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) told his lawyers on March 1 that they had wrapped up their case.

Umerov's lawyer, Emil Kurbedinov, said defense attorneys were given a March 7 deadline to read the case materials -- which he said consisted of three 250-page volumes.

Kurbedinov said the trial will start in about a month.

Umerov, 59, was charged with separatism in May 2016, after he made public statements opposing Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

He denies the charges, saying he has the right to express his opinions freely.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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