Thousands Rally for Slain Putin Critic: 'I Am Not Afraid'
Litvinenko's widow, many others point blame at Putin
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2015 8:51 AM CST
People carry a banner reading 'those bullets for everyone of us, heroes never die!' as they march in memory of Boris Nemtsov, in Moscow, Sunday, March 1, 2015.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – Boris Nemtsov was due to lead an opposition protest in Moscow today, and thousands of people are instead holding one in memory of the critic of Vladimir Putin who was gunned down on Friday, reports the BBC. Marchers carried signs declaring "He died for the future of Russia," "I am not afraid," and "They were afraid of you, Boris," reports the AP. "He was afraid of being killed," a fellow journalist who had recently met with Nemtsov tells the New York Times. "And he was trying to convince himself, and me, they wouldn’t touch him because he was a member of the Russian government, and they wouldn’t want to create a precedent."

Many aren't hesitating to point the blame for Nemtsov's murder squarely at Putin, including Marina Litvinenko, widow of slain Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Per the AP, she thinks the Kremlin was probably also involved in Nemtsov's "absolutely devastating" death. "Boris had declared he would provide clear evidence of Russian armed forces' participation in [the war] in Ukraine. Somebody was afraid of this... They killed him," says Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, per the BBC. Putin himself has condemned the "cruel murder" that "has all the signs of a contract killing" and vowed "everything will be done so the perpetrators of a vile and cynical murder get the punishment they deserve."