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Russian Police Remove Memorial To Slain Opposition Leader Nemtsov, Detain Activists

A memorial in memory of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov at the scene of his killing in Moscow in 2020

Russian police have once again removed a makeshift memorial to slain opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow and detained two activists guarding it, local media reported.

Grigory Simakov, one of the volunteers who help guard the memorial, told the Novaya gazeta newspaper that police destroyed it and later placed two metal barricades on the spot.

Simakov said police took two of the volunteers to the station to check their documents while he and his wife were chased away.

The memorial consisting of flowers, photographs, and candles is located on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge -- a short walk from the Kremlin -- where Nemtsov was gunned down nearly six years ago, on February 27, 2015.

Supporters of Nemtsov have maintained the memorial ever since his death despite police, city workers, and others regularly destroying or removing it. A volunteer died in August 2017 after he was beaten on the bridge.

Nemtsov was an ardent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Five Chechens have been found guilty of involvement in his killing, but critics, including relatives and colleagues of Nemtsov, say Russian authorities failed to determine who ordered it.

Based on reporting by Novaya gazeta