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Hundreds Protest Naming St. Petersburg Bridge After Chechen Leader

Several hundred demonstrators in St. Petersburg have protested against a proposal to name a new bridge after the late Chechen President Akhmad-hadzhi Kadyrov.

Protesters in the city center on June 6 complained that Kadyrov had no connection to Russia's second-largest city.

Kadyrov, father of Chechnya's current Kremlin-backed strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, died in a bomb attack in 2004. Human rights groups have alleged that both leaders' terms in office were marked by torture, abductions, and extrajudicial executions.

The committee that suggests names for St. Petersburg's public places last month proposed the bridge be named for the elder Kadyrov. An online petition against the proposal has gathered some 70,000 signatures.

Ilya Yashin, a prominent opposition leader, said the proposal brings "shame" not only to St. Petersburg but to all of Russia.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS

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