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Ukrainian lawmaker detained during march of mourning over Boris Nemtsov in Moscow

March 01, 2015, 18:10 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Alexei Goncharenko, a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada /parliament/, has been detained during a march of mourning in memory of Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in central Moscow overnight to Saturday, a police source said on Sunday.

The Moscow police department confirmed these reports, adding Goncharenko would be referred to Russia’s Investigations Committee.

In the meantime, the Antimaidan movement said in a statement that Goncharnko had taken part in the massacre of the movement’s activists in Odessa on May 2, 2014.

"There is no doubt he commended what was going on and instigated the massacre. He told about his involvement in the Odessa massacre in an interview with the Ukraina television channel," Antimaidan said in a statement posted on its website. The movement also referred to Goncharenko’s "photos on the backdrop of dead bodies" he had posted in social networks after the fire at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions. "When it became obvious that the Odessa massacre was condemned in Odessa and in the world, he removed these pictures and made a statement trying to whitewash himself," Antimaidan said.

"We demand this man be arrested… He must be arrested and brought to justice," the statement underscored.

The Antimaidan movement was set up in January 2015. Its goal, according to activists, is to prevent ‘colour revolutions’ in Russia.

A march of mourning over Boris Nemtsov is being held on Sunday in Moscow. According to the Moscow police, about 16,500 people are taking part in the march. Moscow authorities gave a permit for a procession to be attended by a maximum of 50,000 people.

People are carrying portraits of Nemtsov, Russian flags with mourning bands. The people are solemnly silent. No slogans are heard. Portraits have signs: "He fought for free Russia," "He fought for our future," as well as the core slogan of the march - "Heroes do not die, and those bullets are aimed at each of us."

Nemtsov, 55, was shot dead while walking along the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge overnight to Saturday with several shots from a handgun from a car passing by him.

He was a co-chair of the RPR-Parnas liberal democratic political party and a deputy of a regional legislature, the Yaroslavl City Duma. Nemtsov held a number of Russian government positions in the 1990s.

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on charges of a murder and illegal possession of arms. The investigators have several theories of the murder, while not ruling out that this was a contract killing. On Sunday, the Investigative Committee asked those who witnessed the murder to contact the investigators.

Nemtsov will be buried at Moscow’s Troyekurovskoye Cemetery on March 3.

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