Foreign diplomats have laid flowers on the Moscow bridge where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was fatally gunned down five years ago.

The deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Bart Gorman, and the ambassadors of several European countries were among those marking the anniversary of Nemtsov’s killing on February 27.

Gorman called on the Russian authorities to find those who masterminded and ordered Nemtsov’s killing.

A liberal politician who was a deputy prime minister during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency and became one of Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s most prominent opponents, Nemtsov was shot on February 27, 2015, as he strolled with his girlfriend along a bridge a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. He was 55 years old.

The brazen killing stunned the country, sent a chill through civil society, and prompted many to reflect on what Russia might have become if Nemtsov’s meteoric political rise in the 1990s had continued — if he, and others like him, had come to power at the end of the decade rather than Putin and others with roots in the Soviet security services.

In July 2017, a Moscow court found five men from the North Caucasus region of Chechnya guilty of Nemtsov’s murder and sentenced them to long prison terms.

Nemtsov’s death reverberated across Russia and beyond its borders, as evidenced by the numerous ceremonies set to commemorate the late politician throughout the day in several other Russian cities, as well as abroad.

In the Czech Republic, a square where the Russian Embassy is located in Prague will be officially renamed after Nemtsov. Other cities have already undertaken similar moves.

On February 29, a march to honor Nemtsov will take place in Moscow, which the capital’s authorities have authorized.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Interfax, and TASS



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