Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would bring to “justice” those responsible for the killing of Union of Right Forces or SPS member Boris Nemstov.
Nemtsov was openly defiant against Russia, particularly due to the Ukrainian crisis. According to local news sources, Nemtsov was on the verge of uncovering evidence about the Russian government’s involvement with the Ukrainian Donetsk Rebels. Before he died, hours earlier he was appealing for support for a amrch on Sunday in Moscow against the Russian government and its influence with the conflict.
Many, including local media, who believed Nemtsov’s killing was improbable, believed that those responsible had ties in the government. Few believed that Moscow will even name those who ordered the killing.
Nemtsov was killed a few meters away from the Kremlin in an area with very high security.
US President Barack Obama condemned the killings and urged the Russian government to conduct a “prompt, impartial and transparent investigation.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded Russia to ensure the murder is cleared and those responsible be dealt justice, she said through her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
According to Russian Investigative Committee Head Vladimir Markin, the killing involved “Islamic extremism” and Nemtsov’s ties with Ukraine. He said that Nemtsov’s killing involved individuals who used every opportunity to reach political gains.
Meanwhile, the death timeline of Putin’s political opponents had increased gradually in the following list from BBC.com.
April 2003 - Liberal politician Sergey Yushenkov assassinated near his Moscow home
July 2003 - Investigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died after 16-day mysterious illness
July 2004 - Forbes magazine Russian editor Paul Klebnikov shot from moving car on Moscow street, died later in hospital
October 2006 - Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead outside her Moscow apartment
November 2006 - Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium in London hotel
March 2013 -Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin power broker turned Putin critic, found dead in his UK home