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MUSKOVITES MARCH OVER POLITICIAN’S MURDER
Tens of thousands of people marched in Moscow yesterday in remembrance of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead near the Kremlin Friday evening. Between 16,000 and 70,000 are believed to have attended the march, with some people carrying signs reading, “I am not afraid.”
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  • Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian conflict, was an experienced politician and had served as deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin. He was shot four times by a gunman in a car as he was walking near the Red Square, circumstances that suggest the killer was a professional who had carefully identified his target, The Moscow Times writes.
  • Critics of Putin have said the murder was politically motivated and accused the president. Russian officials, meanwhile, have denounced the “filthy crime” aimed at destabilizing Russia. Nemtsov’s death “has all the hallmarks of a contract killing and is of a purely provocational nature,” Putin said.

860,000
UN Refugee Agency Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl told the BBC that “it is a figure of shame for the entire world” that 860,000 Palestinians are dependent on food assistance. He also highlighted the significant gap between the money pledged after last summer’s Gaza conflict and the actual money that the agency received to help with the enclave’s reconstruction.

IRAQ LAUNCHES TIKRIT OFFENSIVE
The Iraqi army has launched a large-scale military offensive to retake the city of Tikrit, hometown of late leader Saddam Hussein, Al Jazeera reports. At least 30,000 troops and militia groups have started attacking ISIS positions near the Tigris river and are trying to encircle the city, backed with army jets. According to an Al Jazeera reporter, “this is one of the biggest military operations that will eventually proceed to take back Mosul,” ISIS’ stronghold in Iraq, for which the Pentagon also has plans.

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