Boris Nemtsov's funeral: Thousands of mourners gather in Moscow to view Putin critic's body

Four days after Nemtsov died, the authorities do not have a suspect or a definite motive

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Thousands of mourners lined the streets of Moscow today to pay their respects to murdered Krelim critic Boris Nemtsov, in a gesture of strength and solidarity from Russia's beleaguered opposition movement.

The crowd that amassed was so large that even after the official four-hour public viewing of Mr Nemtsov’s body at the Sakharov Centre ended, a queue of people running for hundreds of metres stood waiting outside the building.

Mr Nemtsov, a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin and the former deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, was shot dead late on Friday as he and his girlfriend walked on a bridge near the Kremlin, in the heart of the Russian capital.

 

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Mourners surround a coffin as they attend a memorial service

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Members of Nemtsov family stand near coffin and pay their last respects

The killing has deeply impacted Russia’s small opposition movement. Fears that his death was ordered by the Kremlin have been stoked by an unfruitful police investigation for suspects and a motive, which has entered its fourth day.

US ambassador John Tefft, former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Russian deputy prime ministers Sergei Prikhodko all viewed Mr Nemtsov's body today, along with tycoon and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov - who ran against Mr Putin in the 2012 election.

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Dina Eidman (1st R), 87, the mother of Boris Nemtsov, reacts near his grave during a burial ceremony

"They probably know that if they don't come, then at some point people will be coming for them," Irina Khakamada, co-leader of a liberal party in parliament with Mr Nemtsov, said of the Russian officials' presence.

However, Polish and Latvian politicians were unable to attend the event, after Moscow banned them from entering the country - a move condemned by the EU.

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Former partner of Boris Nemtsov, Yekaterina Odintsova (2nd L), their children Anton (R) and Dina, and his mother Dina Eidman (2nd R) attend the funeral in Moscow

Veteran human rights activist Lev Ponomarev said a re-awakening of nationalism and intolerance towards dissent that has emerged under Mr Putin has coarsened society and encouraged violence.

"In this atmosphere of violence and hate, these killings will only continue," he said.

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Two women mourners comfort each other at the side of the grave of Boris Nemtsov

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An Orthodox priests blesses the coffin

Ordinary citizens touched by Nemtsov’s death also lined the streets.

"He was our ray of light. With his help, I think Russia would have risen up and become a strong country. It is the dream of all progressive people in Russia," said 80-year-old Valentina Gorbatova.

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A man lays flowers at the grave

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People bring candles near Sakharov Meseum before a farewell ceremony

"I am here to show that aside from the 80% of Russians who don't watch anything but state television and don't think for themselves, there are ... us, who do think and see that the government system is unfair and that we need to change a lot in our country," said Marsel Shamsudinov, who had come from the city of Kazan, 700 kilometres (450 miles) to the east to pay his respects.

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People applaud as workers carry the coffin of Boris Nemtsov

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Women react while waiting to pay their last respects

After the viewing, his body was buried at a cemetery on Moscow's western edge, as relatives and about 100 bystanders looked on.

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People throw flowers on a road in Moscow, as a car transports the coffin of Boris Nemtsov to the cemetery

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A woman holds a Nemtsov-authored book 'Confessions of the Rebel' as she lines up to attend his farewell ceremony

The authorities will now continue their investigation into Nemtsov's death, after Putin's spokesman called the killing a "provocation" aimed at tarnishing Mr Putin's image.

Additional reporting by PA

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