Thousands march in Moscow to commemorate slain politician Nemtsov

Thousands braved the cold weather in the Russian capital to take part in a march commemorating opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered three years ago in central Moscow.

The organizers of the march are fellow Russian opposition activists, including leaders of Nemtsov’s PARNAS party. Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak also joined the protest.

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Organizers said beforehand that up to 30,000 people may show up on the streets of central Moscow, which were closed for traffic during the march, but the actual turnout was smaller. Moscow police put the number of participants at about 4,500.

The smaller than expected crowd may be explained by the recent cold snap. Daytime temperatures dropped as low as -18 C (0 F) on Sunday.

Nemtsov, a former governor and later deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, became a prominent opposition figure since the early 2000s. On February 27, 2015, he was killed in a drive-by gun attack on a bridge near the Kremlin.

READ MORE: March held in Moscow to commemorate Boris Nemtsov 2 years since his murder (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Last year, five people were sentenced to lengthy jail terms for carrying out the killing, but many supporters of Nemtsov blame the government for failing to identify and apprehend whoever ordered the hit. Investigators said the murder was a contract hit in revenge for anti-Islam statements made by Nemtsov after the terrorist attack on French satirical outlet Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

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