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Russian nationalists have smashed the Boris Nemtsov Memorial in Moscow

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The radical nationalist group SERB said its members had smashed a memorial to slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, one of the Kremlin’s top critics, in protest of US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Newland’s visit, Reuters reported.

Boris Nemtsov: The Man Who Was Not Afraid of Putin: In the 1990s, Boris Nemtsov was among Russia’s “young rebels”: a rising political star and the fiercest critic of President Putin. The murder of the oppositionist, committed five years ago, remains unsolved to this day.

Nemtsov’s homemade memorial at the site of his death was smashed early yesterday morning.

In a post on Russia’s VKontakte social network, the radical nationalist group SERB said its members had smashed the memorial to coincide with Newland’s visit. The Kremlin’s hardliners believe it has fueled anti-Russian sentiment in Russia’s neighbors.

It is expected to hold talks at a time when relations between Moscow and Washington are strained, Reuters notes.

Boris Nemtsov was deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin. He was shot dead by four bullets on a bridge near the Kremlin on February 27, 2015. The guarantor was never found. His homemade memorial is a meeting place for opposition activists who visit him to lay flowers, light candles or simply pay tribute to his memory.

In a statement by the nationalist group, Nemtsov was described as a “traitor to our national interests”.

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