March in memory of Boris Nemtsov: against the government and for the Ukrainian Crimea

On 26 February in Moscow held a mass March in memory of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, who two years ago shot a hundred meters from the Kremlin. On the head banner of the March used the words: “We gave Russia scoundrels, it’s time to return”. Banned Russian security forces were posters with slogans like “Putin is war” and flags of Ukraine. In the composition of the March was Pro-Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar columns — they protested against Russian repression in the annexed Crimea.

The daughter of the Chairman of the Majlis (banned in Russia organization — approx. ed.) Ilmi Umerov. Umerov, who took part in the Moscow March, notes that opposition-minded Russians know about the human rights violations in Crimea, despite the barrier of propaganda:

In the beginning it was a little uncomfortable going with the Crimean Tatar flags next to the Russian tricolor, but we all supported, saying that we will win. People came not 5 thousand, according to the mayor’s office, and much more — I agree with the organisers of 15 thousand. We were guarding a huge number of police, and some activists with defined slogans and even with the usual tricolor was not allowed. Of course, people run the risk of going on such marches, but not to honor the memory of Boris Nemtsov them is simply impossible.

Russian human rights activist Sergei Sharov-Delaunay: “the Situation is very simple: the protest by agreement with the government — this is not a protest at all. This is the same what to participate in presidential elections is to legitimize the fascist nature of the government, to play on it. If we do not agree with it, then play according to its rules is impossible. The only thing you can do to protect people in the courts. Everything else is impossible, cooperation with criminals.”

Russian political analyst Ivan Preobrazhensky disagrees with the refusal of the protests:


— The meaning of the protest is, and it is very clear — the opportunity to make sure that you are not alone do not like the existing order of things that a lot of people. It was very important to the dissident movement of the Soviet Union, Sergei Sharov-Delaunay, obviously forgotten. A political sense to rally there, also, to remind the authorities about those who disagree with her politics, which you don’t just break. One such person was the late Boris Nemtsov, a fearless and browbeating the Kremlin.

Ivan Preobrazhensky says that the Russian authorities should not fear opposition rallies and marches:

— We must understand that the Russian authorities are not so uniform, as he wants to show it. Of course, adjacent to the United Russia party in State Duma only a pretend opposition, at the same time, published in the March in memory of Boris Nemtsov called non-systemic opposition, but they have almost no chance to gain power, as was the case with dissidents in the USSR. The real opposition to the regime is hiding inside it — people who from time to time loyal and end up opponents, as recently happened with deputies Denis by Voronenkova and Maria Maksakova, even if they think only about themselves. We need only slightly change the situation — and the Kremlin suddenly find yourself surrounded by enemies, which he himself had generated.