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John Bolton’s tribute to slain Russian opposition activist ransacked by vandals: Report

A wreath laid by President Trump’s national security adviser at a memorial in Moscow for slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was reportedly destroyed after the site was stormed by several suspected pro-Kremlin activists.

Several independent Russian media outlets reported that the Nemtsov memorial in downtown Moscow was ransacked Tuesday, resulting in the destruction of a wreath placed a week earlier during White House adviser John Bolton’s trip abroad.

Gregory Samsonov, an activist who helps maintain the memorial, identified the vandals as members of SERB, a far-right Russian group previously accused of ransacking the site.

Mr. Samsonov wrote in a Facebook group for the memorial that Tuesday’s storming was led by Igor Beketov, a SERB leader also known as Gosh Tarasevich, and that the assailants “tore up the portrait of Nemtsov and the wreath laid by John Bolton.”

Mr. Samsonov said that he alerted a nearby police officer, who in turn threatened to have him institutionalized for reporting the incident, according to the social media post.

Speaking to RBC, a Russian news outlet, Mr. Beketov applauded the incident while denying responsibility.

“We would have liked to do it, but it wasn’t [us]. We envy those who did it,” he told the outlet, as translated by The Moscow Times.

Nemtsov was shot several times the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge in Moscow on Feb. 27, 2015, placing him among a handful of prominent Kremlin critics executed during Russian President Vladimir Putin rein in office.

Nemtsov’s supporters have maintained a makeshift memorial at the scene of his slaying ever since, and Mr. Bolton laid a wreath along at the site while visiting Moscow on Oct. 23, The Times reported.

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