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Russia Blocks Some From Putin Critic's Funeral

'He was our hope'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2015 9:00 AM CST
Russia Blocks Some From Putin Critic's Funeral
A woman places a votive candle at the coffin of Boris Nemtsov during a farewell ceremony inside the Sakharov center in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

(Newser) – Mourners have gathered at a human rights center to remember slain Vladimir Putin critic Boris Nemtsov—but many haven't been welcome at the event, the BBC reports. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, held for 15 days after promoting a demonstration, hasn't been allowed out of jail, while Poland's senate speaker and a Latvian official weren't allowed to enter the country. The Latvian official, a member of the European parliament, says she was stopped at the airport for two hours and ultimately turned away. "I was not coming to Russia to make political declarations and standing on the corner to offend the people," she tells UPI.

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The Polish official, Bogdan Borusewicz, couldn't obtain a visa amid the conflict in Ukraine: Following EU sanctions against Russia, Borusewicz's name was on a list of Polish leaders who couldn't enter, according to Russia. Putin himself didn't attend the ceremony, the BBC notes, but the deputy prime minister did. Thousands arrived for the event, with the line of mourners reaching about a mile long, Reuters reports. Among them was Boris Yeltsin's widow, Naina Yeltsina, Another government opponent spoke: "The shots were fired not only at Nemtsov but at all of us, at democracy in Russia." Added a mourner: "He was our hope … I feel like Putin killed me on the day he died." (Read more Russia stories.)

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