Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed today on a bridge near the Kremlin. Nemtsov had previously served as First Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Yeltsin. Nemtsov also has a record as a reformer, especially for economic affairs.
However, the past few years of Nemtsov’s life have been marked by his opposition to the policies of President Vladimir Putin. Nemtsov was also especially opposed to Putin’s actions as it pertained to Ukraine. He accused the Russian President of starting the war in Ukraine. Putin has denied claims that he is behind the separatist movement.
In the last few days and hours of Nemtsov’s life, he was organizing and promoting an anti-war rally for Sunday. The rally was meant to be a show of opposition towards the Russian involvement in Ukraine.
Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Nemtsov was shot with a pistol by a person who was in a white car. However, Meduza, a Russian news website, reported “several people” shot Nemtsov.
Putin has condemned the murder and he said that the murder may have been a contract killing. President Obama also condemned the killing and called on the Russian government to conduct a “prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation.” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted his condolences, saying, “@poroshenko: Shock. Borys was murdered. It is hard to believe. I have no doubt that murderers will be brought to justice. Sooner or later. Rest in peace.”