Russians marched in honour of the murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on 1 March.

Thousands rallied in the Russian capital Moscow, many carrying portraits of Nemtsov, an opposition politician and former deputy Prime Minister who was shot dead while walking home from a restaurant in the city.

Thousands of people had laid flowers and lit candles on 28 February, on a bridge near the Kremlin where the opposition politician and former deputy Prime Minister was shot dead late on 27 February.

Nemtsov, who was 55, was one of the leading lights of an opposition struggling to revive its fortunes, three years after mass rallies against Putin that failed to prevent him returning to the presidency after four years as Prime Minister.

The opposition has little support outside big cities and Putin has now been Russia's dominant leader since 2000, when ailing President Boris Yeltsin chose the former KGB spy as his successor, a role Nemtsov had once been destined to play.

Nemtsov, a fighter against corruption, had hoped to start the opposition's revival with a march in Marino on the outskirts of Moscow on Sunday to protest against Putin's economic policies and what they see as Russia's involvement in the separatist war in east Ukraine.

The Kremlin denies any role in the fighting.

The opposition said Moscow city authorities had approved the march, allowing for up to 50,000 people, though the organisers said more could show up to march alongside the River Moskva.