Thousands of opposition supporters are expected to march through Moscow to the bridge where Kremlin-critic Boris Nemtsov was shot dead overnight on Friday.
Nemtsov had planned to join the rally to protest against Putin’s economic policies and the conflict in east Ukraine when he was gunned down not far from the Kremlin. In the wake of his killing, the organisers cancelled the march changing its focus to pay tribute to the politician and draw attention to what they said was a ‘red line which has now been crossed.’
On a Russian facebook page a new motto emerged as a play on Nemtsov’s name. “Борис” meaning “Boris” was slightly adapted to “БорисЬ” meaning “keep struggling”.
Mourners around the world also paid tribute to Nemtsov’s memory. Ukrainians in Brussels laid flowers outside the Russian embassy.
In Kyiv, people went to Maidan Square, the location of last year’s popular anti-government protests to pay tribute.
In other European capitals gatherings are planned in Nemtsov’s honour to coincide with the Moscow rally on Sunday.
There will be a memorial opposite the Russian embassy in London at 2pm tomorrow (March 1) for Boris #Nemtsov. Bring flowers and candles— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) February 28, 2015
Meanwhile police say they are pursuing several lines of inquiry including Islamist extremism or that Nemtsov had been used as a ‘sacrificial victim’ to destabilise Russia.
However, Nemtsov had previously said in an interview that he feared Putin wanted him dead due to his criticism of Russia’s alleged involvement in the separatist conflict in Ukraine.