March 2, 2015   |   Posted by galyamorrell on March 2, 2015


We may be close and we may be far from this bridge across the Moscow River. But there is no “far” anymore. As we are mourning Boris Nemtsov on this now infamous bridge tonight, I am thinking about the Boris Nemtsov I knew. I am thinking about those days, much happier days – when children and hopes were still young.

This is 1997. Boris was just appointed to be the First deputy of the Russian Prime-Minister. The picture does not lie. This is how he was – a sunny man. He did not know how to be angry, upset, depressed, jealous or vengeful. He loved life. Maybe too much for some. He knew how to laugh. And he laughed all the time – maybe too much for a politician.


And this is another one, from the same year. Early spring in Gorky Park in Moscow. We are about to start our first post-winter run on a slippery pathway along the Moscow River. On that day Boris taught my young boys, Serge and Kevin, to do pull ups. Is it a small thing? A completely insignificant one on a global scale? Not worthy to mention in the shadow of his death? Maybe. But this little story tells us better than many others about how he was. He believed in a magic of small things, the “insignificant” ones. He believed that it takes planting one seed before dreaming of growing a big forest.

So, we were all running on the wet snow, falling down and falling out of breath, trying to catch up with Boris who was a fast runner. And he was running ahead of us and laughing at the same time…. For my young boys he was clearly a role model.


My boys grew up. They kept doing pull ups and kept running. In high school they both became competitive runners, hs champs in NYC. Each time I was watching them crossing finish lines in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx, I was thinking about Boris. He planted a seed – in Gorky Park, in 1996.

Now both of my boys are adults. They now too teach young kids to do pull ups and run – in different lands of the world, where the road takes them.

And Boris… Boris … besides fighting for freedom … kept teaching Russian children to run, swim and do pull ups – till the very last day of his short life.

In the world’s darkest nightmare I could not have imagined that today I will be saying a good-bye to Boris on the bridge across Moscow River where we once ran.


Good bye, my sunny friend! I will miss you always!


A Black Balloon in the Kremlin Sky Recent Posts Archive Search By Tags Follow Us Featured Posts


Travels with the Nomad:



October 31, 2015  |  Galya Morrell


October 31, 2015  |  Galya Morrell


June 10, 2015   |   Galya Morrell


May 1, 2015  |  Galya Morrell


March 2, 2015 | Posted by galyamorrell on March 2, 2015


New York






Matters of Health:



June 10, 2015   |   Galya Morrell


Russian Telegraph:



May 1, 2015  |  Galya Morrell



A Black Balloon

in the Kremlin Sky:


March 2, 2015 | Posted by galyamorrell on March 2, 2015



Thank you to all those who continue to support my work and occasionally are crazy enough to jump into a frozen river to see if the whole thing is real!

© Copyright 2010 Galya Morrell. All rights reserved.

                 Made by Oni Lai