Thousands march in memory of slain Russian opposition leader

  • A protester holds a poster reading "Tired of" during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    A protester holds a poster reading "Tired of" during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

  • Demonstrators, with flags of different opposition movements, march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    Demonstrators, with flags of different opposition movements, march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

  • Protesters are reflected in the frame of a portrait during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    Protesters are reflected in the frame of a portrait during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

  • A protester holds a poster reading "Man-state secret of international scope" during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    A protester holds a poster reading "Man-state secret of international scope" during a rally in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

  • A man lays flowers as a portrait of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov is seen at the place where he was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with the Kremlin's Beklemishevskaya Tower in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

    A man lays flowers as a portrait of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov is seen at the place where he was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with the Kremlin's Beklemishevskaya Tower in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Associated Press

  • Russian opposition activist Ilya Yashin pays his respect near the place where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

    Russian opposition activist Ilya Yashin pays his respect near the place where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Associated Press

  • People pay respect near the place where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

    People pay respect near the place where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down five years ago, on Feb. 27, 2015, with St. Basil Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Associated Press

  • A man holds a portrait of killed opposition leader Boris Nemtsov standing in a picket in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.  Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    A man holds a portrait of killed opposition leader Boris Nemtsov standing in a picket in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

  • Demonstrators carry a Russian state flag as they gather to commemorate the anniversary of the death of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

    Demonstrators carry a Russian state flag as they gather to commemorate the anniversary of the death of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/29/2020 9:48 AM

MOSCOW -- Thousands of people marched on a central Moscow boulevard Saturday in remembrance of a Russian opposition leader who was gunned down five years ago while walking on a bridge adjacent to the Kremlin.

The march also protested proposed changes to the Russian Constitution that opponents suspect are intended to give President Vladimir Putin a way to retain power once his term ends in 2024.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Protests carried placards with sayings such as 'No to eternal Putin' and 'No to the usurpation of power.'

Police said about 10,000 people took part in the march; a nongovernmental organization that counts attendance at political rallies estimated a turnout of 22,000.

Boris Nemtsov, one of Putin's most charismatic and energetic opponents, was shot to death on Feb. 27, 2015 as he walked on the bridge over the Moscow River.

An officer in the security forces of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing the shots that killed Nemtsov. Four other men were sentenced to 11 to 19 years for involvement in the slaying, but who organized and ordered the assassination has not been determined.

Demonstrations in Nemtsov's memory also took place Saturday in other large cities across Russia, including St. Petersburg, where about 2,000 people gathered, and in Novosibirsk and Vladivostok.

The arrest-monitoring organization OVD-Info said five demonstrators were detained in St. Petersburg, but there was no immediate information on charges.

No detentions were reported in the Moscow march.

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