On 27 February Boris Nemtsov, a lead opposition figure in Russia, was shot dead just outside Moscow’s Kremlin walls. He was allegedly shot 4 times by a bypassing car.
Putin has already condemned the murder, claiming he will take personal control over the investigation.
Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister under Yeltsin in the 1990s and a leading opposition figure in Russian politics, had openly opposed the Ukrainian conflict and criticized the Russian government’s actions. Nemtsov was to lead a public demonstration against the government’s actions and ensuing crisis in Moscow on 1st March. Well aware of the dangers faced by his actions he voiced his fears in an article with Sobesdnik on 10 February: ‘I’m afraid Putin will kill me’.
High profile murders have become commonplace in the Russian state. Since 1991 there have been 27 political assassinations in the Federation, including former Prime Minister Valeriy Hubulov (1998), MPs
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