The Boris Nemtsov Bridge. Speech of the Boris Nemtsov Award Laureate Lev Shlosberg

Dear Raisa Akhmetovna! Dear Zhanna!

Dear friends and colleagues! Ladies and gentlemen!

Twenty six years ago on 12 June 1990, the Declaration of the Sovereignty of State of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was adopted at the first Congress of People’s Deputies of the country. It proclaimed a commitment to build a democratic and constitutional state on the foundations of the renovated USSR.

Let us have another read of that Declaration.

It was decided that the Soviet multi-ethnic people is the holder of the sovereignty and the source of state power, while the sovereignty itself is established for the sake of reaching the supreme goal which is to guarantee a decent life and free self-development of each individual.

Each citizen and even anyone without a citizenship but living on the territory of the RSFSR was guaranteed civil rights and liberties as provided under the RSFSR Constitution, the USSR Constitution and the generally recognized statutes of the international law.

The Declaration guaranteed to all citizens, political parties, non-governmental organizations, as well as public and religious organizations equal rights of participation in state and public affairs.

It was announced that the separation of legislative, executive and judiciary powers is a cornerstone principle under which the RSFSR operates as a constitutional state.

The RSFSR proclaimed its commitment to the generally recognized statutes of the international law and readiness to live in peace and accord with other countries and nations.

It was announced that a constitutional reform and preparation of a new Constitution the RSFSR had been launched.

It was a time of hope, crash of political monopolies, a time of release from fear, a feeling of new era in which everyone was expecting FREEDOM.

We all became a part of a mass democratic movement in the power and success of which we profoundly believed. A Democratic Russia – these were the words that united us all.

We have become its builders.

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A quarter of a century later we all are living in a completely different country where all these beautiful words exist only on paper, and though all these rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, the real life is unfolding along a completely different path – a path of UNFREEDOM.

Fight for freedom in a country like this one can cost one his life.

On 27 February 2015, Boris Efimovitch Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow right next to the Kremlin walls. It was a political assassination. Boris Nemtsov was killed for his political beliefs and his civil stance.