Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow

File photo of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov delivering a speech during a protest rally to defend Article 31 of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly, in Moscow  Photo: REUTERS
File photo of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov delivering a speech during a protest rally to defend Article 31 of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly, in Moscow Photo: REUTERS

Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition politician and former deputy prime minister who was an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead meters from the Kremlin in central Moscow late on Friday.

Nemtsov, 55, was shot four times in the back, the Interior Ministry said. A police spokeswoman on the scene said he had been walking on a bridge over the Moskva River with a Ukrainian woman.

Putin condemned the killing and took the investigation under presidential command, saying it could have been a contract killing and a “provocation” on the eve of a big opposition protest that Nemtsov had been due to lead in Moscow on Sunday.

Police cars sealed off the bridge close to the red walls of the Kremlin and Red Square, and an ambulance was on the scene.

Medics carry the body of Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead, in central Moscow February 28, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Medics carry the body of Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead, in central Moscow February 28, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

“Nemtsov B.E. died at 2340 hours as a result of four shots in the back,” an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said by telephone.

A police spokesman on the scene said Nemtsov had been shot at from a passing white car that fled the scene. The woman was being interviewed by police.

Mikhail Kasyanov, a fellow opposition leader, told reporters at the bridge: “That a leader of the opposition could be shot beside the walls of the Kremlin is beyond imagination. There can be only one version: that he was shot for telling the truth.”

Kasyanov, a former prime minister under Putin, called Nemtsov a “fighter for the truth”.

OPPOSITION TO WAR IN UKRAINE

Nemtsov had been quoted as saying he was concerned that the president might want him dead over his opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. Sunday’s opposition march is intended as a protest against the war in east Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels have seized a swathe of territory.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news agencies that the president had expressed his condolences and ordered the security agencies to investigate. He said Putin had called it a “brutal murder”.

Another opposition figure, Ksenia Sobchak, said Nemtsov had been preparing a report on the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine. The Kremlin strongly denies allegations by Kiev and Western capitals that it has sent troops and advanced weaponry to back the rebels.

Peskov said Putin had called it a “brutal murder”.

Like other opposition leaders, Nemtsov was a fighter against corruption. In other reports, he condemned massive overspending on the Sochi Winter Olympics by the Russian authorities and listed the many state buildings, helicopters and planes that Putin has at his disposal.

Nemtsov was also one of the leaders of mass rallies in the winter of 2011-12 that became the biggest protests against Putin since the former KGB spy rose to power in 2000.

Nemtsov briefly served as a deputy prime minister under president Boris Yeltsin in the late 1990s, when he gained a reputation as a leading liberal reformer.

Reuters

  • 5thDrawer

    So … If Putin is NOT ‘in charge’, who is??

    • Maborlz Ez-Hari

      Vladimir needs to stop putin his finger on the da trigger. His power hungry antics are going to be his downfall.

      • 5thDrawer

        Thousands in Ukraine have already paid for those ‘antics’. And no-body ever got to Stalin.
        It’s a ‘system’.

  • MekensehParty

    Clearly a suicide

    • doron

      :)))
      must be, what other explanation possible??

  • nagy_michael2

    he was killed while he was doing his Jihadist duties.

  • Btru2u

    yes we trust putin to lead the investigation,

    • 5thDrawer

      Did I detect a little sarcasm, Btru2u ?? 😉

      • Btru2u

        Good pick up. After all , the main suspect is leading the investigation

  • zabada

    it is America mistake..mess up with wrong people..sunnis make up 90% out of nearly 2 billion Muslims.,..it is not easy to kill an organization that support among nearly 2 billion people..America take advantage on Arabs tribalism and planted sectarians and wars in middle east to protect Israel..it is common in Europe ,not only America ,divide and rule is western old school to destroy and invade at the past,at colonial times..unfortunately America eventually make big mistake by mess up with Iraqis Sunnis…..in future ..it is not isis any more..it is muslims world coalition and the east vs the west coalition and Israel,, America plan are working other way..arrogant people always make big mistakes.Arrogant is a sin.Fight the global wars that you planted in here.Don,t believe in me..see by your self in near future,even now.When isis captured it,s glory..it will invite too many fans..even by non muslims in the East,..because America and israel have too many enemies,not only Muslims..America just mess up with many people at the past..Don,t believe in me.see by your self in near future,even now.t is my humble analysis.Ask arrogant evil people in White House..why they have done this serious mistakes?.Of course isis will kill many in Middle East..because America plan is working well in the beginning..but they are not going to stop.,when America plan is out if control.. ..they will kill Israelis and Western people who have killed oppressed them at the past.Arrogant Americans has to be blame in this biggest crisis in history of human kind.

    • Andre

      Yeah it’s always Israel and the west’s fault, but never the idiots that the cause the real problem. As long as people are blinded by religion, it’s easy to mislead them.

      • zabada

        it is more blinded people deluded by Zionist in the west…in history nonreligious people who started the wars.At ancient times,in Rome,they have no religion.but they who are wars mongers at the times..you need to read more history books.

        • Andre

          Mankind evolved to become greedy, adding religion or any other fundamentalist ideology to the mix has always been volatile. If religions were so pure and holy, and we’re made in his image why so many flaws between our ears! If you read your history, you’ll will learn that people (mostly man) are addicted to power and control – no matter where they exist on this planet.

          If these ISIS idiots were really interested in liberating the Arabs from the West and its allies, they wouldn’t have to resort to such barbaric tactics, when the Arabs were ripe and ready to embrace a fresh change. But just like the Zionest and western war mongers, they too are killers. How else do you explain the killings of innocent Arabs by these criminals.

          • zabada

            explain why America killing them first..before ,at the times of Saddam.it is no that worse.Arab change to Zionist invasion?.When Saddam make decision to sell oil by gold not petrodollars..America Zionist bombarding him..war on oil and spread fake democracy to enslave middle east..may be you are not mature enough to understand Zionist games.It is not a bout religion..it is a bout Zionist oppression in Middle east after it enslave the Whites American.Or you are defending your side even they are too brutal.