Moscow authorities reject proposal to hold rally in memory of Boris Nemtsov in city center

The Russian opposition has agreed to hold a demonstration in remembrance of Boris Nemtsov following an alternate route in Moscow.  This was reported by Interfax on the 16th of February referencing one of the leaders of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), Constantine Merzlikin.

“We were not allowed to hold the rally along the route through the Great Moscow River Bridge.  They offered the traditional route along the Boulevard.  Even though we held a meeting and agreed to this, I believe that the arguments of City Hall are illogical,” Merzlikin said.

On Friday, the opposition gave a notice to Moscow City Hall with regard to holding the demonstration on the 27th of February.  Approximately 50,000 people will be able to participate in the rally.   The notice proposed the initial rally route, which was from Slavyanskaya Square through the Great Moscow River Bridge to the Lesser Moscow River Bridge.

The leader of PARNAS, Mikhail Kasyanov, had said that "the authorities are afraid of the growing awareness of citizens about the tragedy that took place a year ago, and the symbolism of the murder of Boris Nemtsov."

“We received a proposition to hold the demonstration along the well-known route along the boulevards, from Strastny to Sretensky and to Sakharov Avenue.  As we all remember, processions by Boris Nemtsov were repeatedly held along this route.  This is why on today, the 16th of February, at a meeting of the PARNAS coalition, we decided to accept this offer of the Government of Moscow," he wrote on Facebook.

Earlier, the mayoral office of St. Petersburg had refused to approve the route of the rally in the city center.  According to one of the applicants, Vadim Sukhodolskiy, the city authorities then proposed an alternative route to the organizers.

"We asked to hold the demonstration in the city center.  Instead, we were offered Polyustrovsky Park which is located on the outskirts of the city.  There is no subway and no access roads.  It is an inconvenient route," Sukhodolskiy said.

Boris Nemtsov was the co-chairman of the PARNAS party before he was killed on February 27th, 2015.  His killer shot him six times in the back before fleeing in a car.

Soon after the murder, six suspects were arrested: Zaur Dadaev, who the investigation team believe shot Nemtsov; Anzor and Shadid Gubashev; Khamzat Bach and Temirlan Eskerhanov.  Beslan Chavannes was also a suspect, but blew himself up with a grenade during his arrest.

  Russia, opposition, Boris Nemtsov