“In This House Lives The Memory of Boris Nemtsov”

February 27, 2018

Demonstrations have taken place across scores of Russian cities this week to mark the anniversary of the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.  Marches have taken place under many different banners and have drawn tens of thousands of supporters across Russia and Europe who have come out to pay tribute to the slain politician.

Open Russia activists have been engaged in a campaign called “In this house lives the Memory of Boris Nemtsov – a genuine human being and a real patriot.” The campaign originated as a response to the local Tatarstan authorities’ decision not to allow citizens to publicly honour Boris Nemtsov.  As a result, activists decided to take matters into their own hands, attaching plaques to the sides of their houses bearing the “In this house lives the memory of Boris Nemtsov” inscription.

The campaign was supported throughout the Open Russia Movement in over 30 Russian cities from Moscow to Kazan and Tambov.  However, in a number of cases tensions arose between the police, local authorities and demonstrators.  In Ekaterinburg local citizen Vladislav Bukhtiarov was detained while conducting a lone-picket in memory of Nemtsov.  Open Russia’s St. Petersburg coordinator Andrey Pivovarov was also arrested outside his house by police and ‘anti-extremism’ officers and has been brought in for questioning.

Campaigns in memory of Boris Nemtsov have been very visual this year and carry the message that the Russian people have not forgotten about the most shocking political assassination in post-Soviet Russian history.  Although the people who executed the murder were apprehended and sentenced, those who ordered the killing have never been investigated, leaving wide open one of the most important unsolved cases for justice in contemporary Russia.

EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer paid a visit to the bridge opposite the Kremlin where Boris Nemtsov was gunned down, making the following bold statement:  “Nemtsov, speaking out for a modern, pluralistic and democratic Russia, left behind him a very important political message and has inspired many.  His murder should be be subject to a full transnational investigation in order to bring all of those involved in the assassination to justice.”