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Makeshift memorial for Nemtsov is a site of struggle in Moscow
Moscow authorities have refuted accusations of destroying the makeshift memorial at the place of Boris Nemtsov’s murder on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge.
Igor Pergamenshik, the spokesperson of Moscow’s deputy mayor for development, told the news agency Interfax that the state agency called “Gormost,” which operates the bridge, has removed only the “wilted flowers put off to the side.” According to Pergamenshik, the fresh flowers, portraits and candles remain in place.
In his comments to the television channel Dozhd, Pergamenshik denied that Moscow’s deputy mayor Petr Biryukov was unhappy with the makeshift memorial set up on the bridge.
“Employees of the agency are to oversee orderliness and cleanliness at their site. As a part of their duties, they merely remove the wilted flowers put off to the side,” said Pergamenshik.
Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, was shot to death on February 27 in the center of Moscow on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, just yards from the Kremlin.
Mourners have set up a makeshift memorial of flowers, candles, signs and portraits in his memory at the site of the murder. Moscow activists have also initiated a petition to rename the bridge to “Nemtsov Bridge.”
On the night of March 24, members of activist group SERB, which is known for mocking and provoking opposition protestors, attacked the memorial and destroyed the plaques which read “Nemtsov Bridge,” replacing them with leaflets calling Nemtsov a “traitor.”
On the night of March 27, the flowers and candles were removed from Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge. Throughout the following day, people brought more flowers and candles to the site, restoring the makeshift memorial in full.
The online media source Yod reported that Moscow deputy mayor Petr Biryukov ordered the removal of the memorial, citing a source close to the Moscow mayor’s office.
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