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Boris Nemtsov: Thousands march in Moscow after murder of liberal politician and Putin critic

Thousands of people are marching through central Moscow to mourn veteran liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, whose killing has shaken Russia's beleaguered opposition.

Activists had already planned a protest rally, ordered by the city to be held in a suburban neighbourhood. But after Mr Nemtsov's death, they called for a demonstration to mourn him in central Moscow, and city authorities gave approval.

The mourners are to march to the scene where Mr Nemtsov was gunned down.

The 55-year-old was shot as he walked on a bridge near the Kremlin with a female companion.

The killing came a few hours after a radio interview in which he denounced President Vladimir Putin's "mad, aggressive" policies and the day before he was to help lead the Moscow rally protesting over Russia's actions in the Ukraine conflict and the economic crisis at home.

Russia's federal investigative agency said it was looking into several possible motives for the killing.

The first possibility, the Investigative Committee said, was that the murder was aimed at destabilising the political situation in Russia and Mr Nemtsov was a "sacrificial victim for those who do not shun any method for achieving their political goals".

This suggestion echoed comments by Mr Putin's spokesman and other Russian politicians that the attack was a "provocation" against the state.


Further reading:

Boris Nemtsov: 'I'm afraid Putin will kill me,' Russian opposition politician said weeks before being shot dead

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