March 01, 2016

Bridge of Contention

Bridge of Contention
The memorial to Boris Nemtsov on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, just a few hundred feet from the Kremlin.  Mikhail Mordasov

The late Boris Nemtsov’s friends and supporters are not surrendering.

It has been a year since the opposition politician was shot as he walked along a bridge near the Kremlin, yet Russians continue to gather at his assassination site.

The authorities are also not surrendering in their effort to erase from the face of the city the memorial that sprung up in his honor. In 2016, attempts to “clean” the bridge intensified; in January the memorial was removed three times. Each time, police drove up to the site at three or four in the morning, claimed they were responding to a report of a disturbance, and then detained activists who are part of a team that guards the memorial around the clock. Municipal workers would then gather up the flowers, Russian flags and candles for disposal.

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