Boris Nemtsov Murdered in Moscow

Investigators crowd around Boris Nemtsov's dead body

Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov, former Deputy Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin and the leading Russian Opposition politician was shot four times in the back while crossing a bridge on foot near St. Basil’s Cathedral and The Kremlin. The assassination, which took place in the late evening on Friday, February 27 was carried out by an unknown gunman in a car. Nemtsov, who had once served as governor of Russian city Nizhny Novgorod, had begun receiving death threats over social media. The 55 year old and was visiting Moscow to gain support for a march against the war on Ukraine which would have taken place in the Russian capitol on Sunday. In light of Nemtsov’s death, the scheduled March 1st protest evolved into a rally in memory of the fallen politician. Tens of thousands of protestors attended, many carrying the image of Boris Nemtsov and signs sporting the phrase, “I am not afraid”, as chants of “Russia without Putin” broke out within the crowd. While Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, has condemned the killing and claimed he has taken “personal control” of the murder investigation, Nemtsov expressed in an interview on February 10th, “I’m afraid Putin will kill me”. Boris Nemtsov had reason to fear for his life due to his activism and openness regarding his strong opposition to war in Ukraine and many of President Putin’s policies. Law enforcement believes the assassination to be, “a provocation aimed at destabilizing the country”, which was already unstable before the Russian Opposition leader was gunned down. Nemtsov has been described as the “bridge between Russia and Ukraine”, perhaps an ironic comparison, eerily foreshadowing his death.

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