YABLOKO participated in memorial actions held nationwide and paying tribute to Boris Nemtsov
Press Release, 26.02.2017
YABLOKO leaders and activists took part in the demonstration in memory of Boris Nemtsov held in Moscow today. YABLOKO activists from many regions of the country formed a column under the banner of the party. The key slogan of YABLOKO was “No to Political Terror!”. The column was headed by party Chair Emilia Slabunova, party founder and Chair of its Federal Political Committee Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO Deputy Chair Nikolai Rybakov, Sergei Mitrokhin, ex-Chair of the party and member of the Federal Political Committee, and Viktor Sheinis, one of the authors of the Russian Constitution and member of the Federal Political Committee.
“The murder of Boris Nemtsov is an act of political terror, the entire responsibility lies with bears President Putin who allowed for physical elimination of his political opponents,” Grigory Yalvinsky, Chairman of the Federal Political Committee of the party, said. Grigory Yavlinsky. “Participation of YABLOKO in the demonstration represents a protest against political terror”.
“Instilling of fear, inflaming hatred and bullying –more destructive and more disgusting future for Russia can hardly be imagined. Therefore, YABLOKO and all the participants of the demonstration protest against violence, degradation and terrorism,” Yavlinsky noted.
According to YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova, the political assassination that happened two years ago had a political goal: intimidation of people. “It is very important that today, thousands of people came to the demonstration and have shown that they are not afraid, that Russia will be free and it will happen by our joint efforts,” she said.
Participating in the demonstration the party pays tribute not only to Boris Nemtsov, but also to all the victims of political terror. “We commemorate Larissa Yudina, [journalist and Chair of the Kalmykian branch of YABLOKO], Yuri Shchekochikhin, [a pillar of Russian investigative journalism and MP in the YABLOKO faction in the State Duma], and Farid Babayev [human rights defender, YABLOKO member and candidate to the State Duma]. Yet , no matter how many there were killings of politicians, public figures, journalists, we have not seen trials over those who ordered and implemented these crimes. This means that the state plays up political terror, and is interested in such ways of achieving its goals,” Sergei Mitrokhin, member of the Federal Political Committee of YABLOKO and the leader of its Moscow branch, said.
According to Deputy Chairman of the party Nikolay Rybakov, the number of slogans of the demonstration has been growing every year, this shows that there are few grounds for free political dialogue, and YABLOKO is a party aspiring for a peaceful dialogue and a peaceful change of power in the country.
The participants of the demonstration marched in the centre of Moscow, along part of the Moscow Bulvar Ring. According to the “White Counter” [independent counter], the action was attended by over 15,000 people.
After the demonstration the leaders and activists of YABLOKO went to the Big Moskvoretsky bridge where Boris Nemtsov was killed and laid flowers at the site of his murder.
YABLOKO also participated in the memorial actions paying tribute to Boris Nemtsov in other Russian cities. Party activists participated in rallies in Voronezh, Rostov, St. Petersburg, Stavropol and Vologda, in the latter three cities the party was the organiser of the rallies. Novosibirsk activists were co-organisers of the demonstration and in Nizhny Novgorod YABLOKO was a participant in the demonstration. In Karelia, Tambov, Orel, Omsk, Chita, YABLOKO held pickets. In the Kemerovo the city administration refused to give a permission for a demonstration, therefore pickets were held there. In Murmansk YABLOKO conducted a round table dedicated to the memory of Boris Nemtsov. On 27 February, demonstration in memory of Boris Nemtsov will be held in Ryazan, YABLOKO activists will take part in it.
YABLOKO also took part in the memorial actions paying tribute to Boris Nemtsov held in Moscow in 2015 and 2016 and organised its own actions in the regions. This year the organisers of the rally in the memory of Nemtsov in Stavropol – members of the regional branch of the Youth YABLOKO – were pressed buy the Federal Security Bureau, the FSB. In view of this, YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova addressed , Alexander Bortnikov, head of the agency. On 23 February, police detained Kirill Bobro, leader of the Stavropol Youth YABLOKO, and two other party activists for a series of pickets against the pressure on opposition. The activists picketed the regional FSB office. The trial on this case will be held on 28 February.
Oppositional politician Boris Nemtsov was killed on the night of February 28, 2015, on the bridge by the Kremlin wall in Moscow. In his last year, he openly opposed the war between Russia and Ukraine. YABLOKO believes that he was murdered because of his anti-war stance. YABLOKO states that the political responsibility for the murder lies with the authorities and personally with President Putin.