23:31 is the time when Boris Nemtsov was murdered at Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge on February 27, 2015. 

Ever since then the indefinite vigil goes on at the place of his murder.  

There are about 30 volunteers who keep the vigil for the last 5 years.


They are not paid or affiliated with any organization.


They come  from different cities and social backgrounds. Some have yet to graduate from the high school, the others have lived most of their lives in USSR.


The only thing that unites them is the desire to remember.

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INTRO {2:28}

When Boris was murdered I rode my bicycle one street away from Kremlin.

I was listening to “Echo”, then Plyuschev interrupted his program... and said that somebody just shot Boris Nemtsov.

I started calling our people... Me and Boris were in the same political party – “Solidarnost”.

But nobody knew anything. There was an announcement that he was shot on the other {Bolshoy Kammeny} bridge.

Nobody could understand anything.

"Who was Boris Nemtsov?

He was almost my age and I followed his political career from 1990s.

Those were the times of change and people felt as If they really HAD A SAY.

NEMTSOV was a very successful governor. I was impressed by his opposition to Chechen war: he sacrificed his political future to his convictions….

In the last 20 years he became a street politician.

 

it was only after his death, that i understood how crucial he was."

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"When Boris was murdered, I rode my bicycle near Kremlin.

I was listening to “Echo”, then Plyuschev interrupted his program... and said that somebody just shot Boris Nemtsov.

I started calling our people... Me and Boris were in the same political party – “Solidarnost”.

But nobody knew anything. There was an announcement that he was shot on the other {Bolshoy Kammeny} bridge.

Nobody could understand anything."

                                                 

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"On a day of his murder I still lived in Ufa. I learned about His murder in the news. even though I  never met Nemtsov, it became my very real & personal grief.

 

during the 1st month I cried every single day.

My daughter tried to reason me.. She said: “Mom, why are you crying? I understand how tragic that is, but he is not a relative or a friend. Why are you taking it so much to your heart?”

 

But I just couldn't stop. something terrible happened to all of us on that day."

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"His head was right here, and the legs over there.

There was almost no blood because his heart stopped immediately.

There was an orange cone, that marked the spot. 

the civilians were pushed to the side. 

police marked the area. They removed his shirt…

it was a surreal scene: A crowd standing over their fallen adversary.

 

Almost a Biblical scene."

"My name is Kirill Gilyarov. Me and Boris were from the same political movement. Our ideas of public good were definitely close.

 

I’d occasionally run into him on public transit – unlike other Russian politicians, he didn’t have a personal driver. He took the regular subway.

The last time I saw him was on September 13, 2014 – that was a local election day. That’s why I remember. I was on my way to "Solidarnost" office and he was returning home.

 

I didn’t know then that in 5 AND A HALF months he would be murdered and that wOULD be our last meeting."

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"This place emerged because of Boris’s death,

in a way, it was created by Boris.

 

these are the last 10 meters of the Free Russia. And until our volunteers come here, you can still come here any time,

day or night

and feel the freedom.

What's left of it".

"The lootings used to happened very often. It became a bit better now.

 

Still one year ago one of our volunteers, Ivan, was murdered.

a person stopped by. He asked Ivan: “Do you like Putin?”

 

Ivan tried to turn the conversation into a joke.

So he answered: “Putin is not my girlfriend to like him”. That other person took something out and crashed Ivan’s head. 

 

As in Nemtsov’s case the murderer was never identified."

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"There is a helicopter landing zone  in Kremlin.

So occasionally the helicopter would fly over the memorial. then They'd circle back and fly extremely low to the ground.

And all the photos and flowers  started to fly around.

 

Once, when that happened, I raised my head and looked up. 

 

and the pilot waived at me , He smiled, and flew away."

"...May be two different security services were fighting each other and he became a pawn in that fight...

 

There is a kid’s game, you know.

a Kid stands with his back to the others. Then somebody pushes him.

 

He turns around and needs to say who pushed him. But how would he know?

Anybody could have done it…."

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"I was 17 y.o. when he was murdered.

I come from a really small town, Torzhok.

I had no idea about nemtsov.

 

It was last year when I joined the Indefinite Protest – a self-organizing network that fights Putin’s regime, that i learned about nemtsov and memorial.

 

This place is the 1st indefinite vigil in russia. I think, there are lots of different people here.

 

And, may be, Nemtsov himself is not as important. But the memorial is the beginning of the new resistance."

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(Audio in russian)

As for the memory – there is an important Russian artist, his name is Vladimir Sidur.

He was a WW II veteran.

He was shot in his face and a part of his face was forever disfigured by this incident. Later he made a sculpture called "The War" – the sculpture of a soldier’s face dissected by the war.

Last year pro-Putin activists came to his exhibition and broke this sculpture.

 

That’s what it is…. Our people can’t face their memories. That’s why there are so many attacks on this memorial. And we’ll continue to stand here until at least a part of the population can accept THE ugliness OF OUR HISTORY and remember Boris.

P.S.

{1:07}