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Smells Like 1930’s in Russia: Nemtsov’s Assassination in Moscow

Right-wing politician Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow last night.

Politician and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was fired at four times (at least) and killed as he was walking on Vasilivsky Prospect with a friend visiting from Ukraine. These are the facts that became known last night, February 27th 2015 at around 11 pm.

The world today saw photos worthy of Stalin’s times: a corpse of a political figure lying in front of the Kremlin.


Photo Credit: Dozhd correspondent Tikhon Dzyadko’s Instagram

Ilya Yashin, Boris Nemtsov’s friend and one of the leaders of the opposition leaders of Bolotnaya movement in 2012, told Snob.ru that Nemtsov was setting out to write a piece entitled “Russia and War,” saying he had evidence of Russian military presence in Ukraine. This, Yashin said Nemtsov told him about during their last meeting two days ago.

In a recent interview with a Russian newspaper Sobesednik.ru Nemtsov said that he was afraid Putin was plotting his assassination.

This was a light-hearted open interview in which the politician told of his 87-year old mother, her lucid mind and her requests to stop being so openly critical of Putin because she was afraid he would kill her son.

Today this interview, closing  with the line “I hope Putin does not kill me,” stands as a grotesque testimony to Nemtsov and his mother’s fears coming true.


Photo: Snob.ru

The attack on Boris Nemtsov took place on Bolshoy Moskvaretskiy Bridge, right in front of the Kremlin, where he was walking with his female acquaintance visiting from Ukraine. Eyewitness accounts say the opposition leader was shot from a white car that approached the sidewalk. Nemtsov died soon after at the shooting scene. The female companion’s name is being withheld by the police, which took her to the station for questioning. The car from which the attack was made disappeared instantly.


Nemtsov had been a leader of “Candidates for Democracy” since 1991 and became a Nizhniy Novgorod representative during Eltsin’s reign. In 1996 Nemtsov gathered a million signatures asking to withdraw Russian military from Chechnya.

In 1997 Nemtov left Nizhniy Novgorod gubernator’s post and became Deputy Prime Minister under Anatoly Chubais.

After leaving the office Nemtsov has been the leader of the Republican Party of Russia and an active opposition voice to Putin’s politics, only recently saying he blamed the president for the war in Ukraine.


Prepared by Nino Gojiashvili