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  • Nemtsov Assassinated

    Death on the Kremlin’s Doorstep
    The killing of Boris Nemtsov heralds a new era of darkness for Russia’s already battered opposition.
    2/28/2015 Christian Caryl FP

    It was always hard to ignore Boris Nemtsov. You couldn’t help but notice when he came into a room. The physicist-turned-politician was smart, pugnacious, brash.

    And so it was when I last saw him, in November 2010. Almost inevitably our conversation turned to the topic of the violence that permeates Russian political culture. We talked briefly about the fate of Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer and anti-corruption activist who met an ignominious death in prison in 2009. We discussed Anna Politkovskaya, the crusading journalist who was shot to death in 2006 in the entryway of her home. Nemtsov noted that dozens of other reporters had died on the job in the years preceding — and lamented that the killers rarely faced any accounting for their crimes. “The murderers understand that killing journalists is not a problem,” he told me.

    “So who protects you?” I asked him. It seemed like a reasonable question. After all, he was one of the most outspoken opposition figures in an era when Russia’s democratic institutions, never especially strong at the best of times, had withered dramatically. There was already plenty of bad blood between Nemtsov and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who in 2009 claimed that Nemtsov and other politicians of his generation had stolen “billions” during their heyday in the 1990s. (Putin also made a point of mentioning that some of their confederates were in prison.) Threats were a regular part of Nemtsov’s life.

    My question made him shrug. “God, I don’t know,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t have bodyguards.”

    Just a few hours ago, early in the morning of Feb. 28, Moscow time, unknown assailants gunned Nemtsov down on a sidewalk in front of the Kremlin. The killing, as veteran Russia-watcher Steve Levine notes here, had all the hallmarks of a contract hit. Speculation about the identity of his killers is already rife — and ultimately academic, since they will never be caught. In Russia they almost never are.

    On Feb. 10, Nemtsov gave an interview in which he expressed the fear that Putin wanted to kill him. It wasn’t an entirely crazy thought. Aside from the offense of expressing openly oppositionist views, Nemtsov was one of the few major Russian political figures who has dared to criticize Putin’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine. (And, indeed, some are already speculating that those very separatists might have been behind Nemtsov’s death — although it’s hard to imagine that they would have dared such an act without explicit permission from the Kremlin.)

    Nemtsov also had the extraordinary temerity to attack Putin for his lavish overspending on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (which happens to be Nemtsov’s birthplace). None of this was calculated to boost his popularity among ordinary Russians, who tend to find Putin’s tough-guy theatrics a thrill. Nemtsov’s periodic reports highlighting corruption and human rights violations certainly didn’t endear him to the Kremlin, either. And just hours before his death he was touting a planned opposition demonstration, scheduled for the coming Sunday, that looks as though it will now turn into a huge memorial service.

    It’s no stretch to say that Nemtsov’s career exemplified both the promise and the weaknesses of Russia’s liberal opposition movement. In the early 1990s, the young Nemtsov – then a governor of the region around Nizhny Novgorod — made a name for himself as an ardent supporter of President Boris Yeltsin’s reform course. In 1997, a year after Yeltsin’s re-election to a second term as president, Nemtsov joined his cabinet, part of a “dream team” of young reformers who were celebrated by western politicians and investors for their liberal economic policies and their embrace of democratic values. Nemtsov’s energy and charisma made him a particular hit with voters, and there was a time when he was even touted as the great hope of the reformist camp, perhaps even as a possible successor to the increasingly erratic Yeltsin.

    Yet these were also the very years when the dream of a new Russia based on free markets and liberal values foundered fatally. Most Russians remember the 1990s as a decade of shocking industrial decline, salaries left unpaid for months or years, and savings lost to hyperinflation. Organized crime ran amok, and life expectancy plummeted. The newly minted “oligarchs,” the small circle of well-connected businessmen who benefited disproportionately from the privatization of the nation’s prime assets, paraded their wealth and influence.

    The liberal politicians favored by Yeltsin either abetted these developments or proved powerless to stop them. Their dream ended with a bang on Aug. 17, 1998, when the government, headed by baby-faced Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko, devalued the ruble and defaulted on its debts. Nemtsov was Kirienko’s deputy prime minister, and it was a moment he would never quite live down. Amid the chaos, the general yearning for a “strong leader” became almost palpable. The Russian financial crisis marked the real start of Putin’s path to the presidency.

    The liberals’ subsequent exile from power wasn’t made much easier by their own fractiousness and all-too-frequent contempt for political realities. Nemtsov himself played a starring role in one of the most notorious examples of opposition obliviousness. A 2003 campaign ad for his political party depicted Nemtsov and his two colleagues, Anatoly Chubais and Irina Khakamada, flying over Russia in a cushy private plane as they discussed their plans for the country’s future. Few images could have better summed up the popular image of the liberal opposition as arrogantly detached from the gritty realities of everyday life.

    In a truly democratic society, of course, politicians have the chance to learn from their mistakes, giving them the hope of returning, revived, to the give-and-take of honest competition. Russia’s Putin-era opposition has never had this luxury. Its adherents have been thrown into jail, hounded into silence, driven into exile. Yet even these crimes pale against the killing of Nemtsov, whose death presages a grim new era of darkness in the country’s political life.

    During our last meeting, Nemtsov was characteristically unapologetic about his beliefs. He expressed deep skepticism about the “reset,” the Obama administration’s plan to find a new modus vivendi with the Kremlin based on the two country’s shared interests. “Putin has absolutely different values,” he told me. “Obama believes in freedom and the rule of law. Putin believes only in money, business, and power.” And while he welcomed American pressure on Moscow to observe the norms of human rights, he had no illusions about Washington’s ability to transform his country’s culture from afar. “I don’t think the American president or the American congress will establish democracy in our country. I think that’s our responsibility.”

    He was right, of course. But that struggle, already difficult enough, will now become even harder in his absence.
    Death on the Kremlin’s Doorstep | Foreign Policy

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  • #2
    16:37 28.02.2015 INTERFAX - UKRAINE

    Ukrainian President Poroshenko said that the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was going to disclose evidence of the involvement of Russian troops in the military actions in Ukraine.

    "A few weeks ago I talked to him [Nemtsov] on how to build relations between Ukraine and Russia in the way we would like them be. Boris declared that he intended to make public conclusive strong proof of the participation of Russian armed forces in Ukraine. Someone was very afraid of this. Boris wasn't afraid, and the executioners were afraid. They killed him," the president said in Vinnytsia on Saturday.

    According to Poroshenko, Boris Nemtsov was a great friend of Ukraine, Russian patriot, who was like a bridge connecting two states. He was building the most desirable for Ukrainians relations between Ukraine and Russia.

    "On March 1, he supposed to lead a many thousand meeting to demonstrate that there is another Russian who loves Ukraine, respects human rights, for which freedom is not an empty phrase. And for the sake of freedom and democracy, he was ready to sacrifice his life," said Poroshenko.

    Nemtsov was killed on Saturday night in Moscow downtown.

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    • #3
      World leaders condemn murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov
      Former deputy PM and critic of Vladimir Putin who was due to lead major rally on Sunday was killed near the Kremlin
      Shaun Walker in Moscow & Chris Johnston in London Saturday 28 February 2015 07.32 EST

      World leaders led by David Cameron and Barack Obama have condemned the killing of prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in Moscow on Friday evening.

      Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a sharp critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was reportedly shot four times in the back by a killer in a passing car.

      Cameron said the callous murder must be “fully, rapidly and transparently investigated, and those responsible brought to justice”.

      “His life was dedicated to speaking up tirelessly for the Russian people, to demanding their right to democracy and liberty under the rule of law, and to an end to corruption,” the prime minister said. “He did so without fear, and never gave in to intimidation.”

      The US president called on Russia’s government to conduct a “prompt, impartial and transparent” investigation, describing Nemtsov as a “tireless advocate” for citizens’ rights and fighting corruption.

      A spokesman for German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she was dismayed by Nemtsov’s killing and praised his courage in criticising government policies.

      The office of the French president, François Hollande, described the killing as an “assassination” and described the politician as a “courageous and tireless defender of democracy and a dogged fighter against corruption”.

      The killing took place in the very centre of Moscow late on Friday evening on a bridge near St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, two days before Nemtsov was due to lead a major opposition rally in Moscow.

      Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the president would take the investigation into Nemtsov’s death under “personal control”, and that he believed the killing to be a provocation.

      “Putin noted that this cruel killing has all the signs of a hit, and is a pure provocation,” said Peskov. He said Putin offered condolences to Nemtsov’s family.

      Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev echoed the suggestion that the killing was a provocation: “It’s an attempt to push the situation into complications, maybe even to destabilising the situation in the country.”

      Russia’s investigative committee was pursuing several lines on inquiry, including the possibility it was an attempt to destabilise the political landscape.

      The committee, which reports to Putin, said the killing could be linked with events in Ukraine or have been carried out by radical Islamists. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the committee, said Nemtsov had received threats in connection with his position on the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last month.

      Nemtsov, 55, was deputy prime minister during the 1990s in the government of Boris Yeltsin. He had written a number of reports in recent years linking Putin and his inner circle to corruption, and was one of the most well-known politicians among Russia’s small and beleaguered opposition.

      ‘Shot four times in the back’

      Footage from the scene showed police experts examining the corpse of a man, dressed in jeans and lying on the tarmac, with the domes of St Basil’s in the background. Fellow opposition politicians confirmed the news, while a police spokeswoman said a manhunt was under way for the killer.

      “He was shot four times in the back, as a result of which he died,” Elena Alekseyeva told Russian television. She added that the killer escaped in a light-coloured car.

      Other official sources told Russian media that Nemtsov had been walking with a female companion, who was unharmed, at the time of the killing. The woman was reportedly a Ukrainian national and was taken for questioning by police. One report described her as a model who was 30 years his junior.

      Just hours before his death, Nemtsov had appeared on Ekho Moskvy radio calling on Muscovites to attend an opposition march planned for Sunday. The march against Putin’s government and the war in Ukraine was due to take place in a suburb of Moscow.

      On Saturday opposition leaders said they wanted to cancel the rally and hold a memorial event in the centre instead. Authorities said this would not be permitted.

      Opposition figure Leonid Volkov later tweeted that a march had been sanctioned by the Moscow mayor’s office. It would go from Kitay-Gorod metro station to the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, where the politician was killed.

      One of the other organisers of the march, Alexei Navalny, was jailed on 19 February for 15 days. Nemtsov himself had been detained briefly a number of times in recent years for taking part in political rallies, and was seen as one of the old guard of the Russian opposition.

      “Today before the programme he asked me if I wasn’t scared to have him on air,” Alexei Venediktov, the editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, tweeted. “It wasn’t me who needed to be scared.”

      “We will answer Nemtsov’s murder with everyone coming out to the rally on 1 March, it’s the best thing we can do for now,” wrote Gennady Gudkov, another opposition politician, on Twitter.

      The immediate reaction in Moscow was one of shock and amazement. While there has been a noticeable crackdown on opposition since Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, and especially since the conflict in Ukraine, no major political figure has been killed in Russia for a decade. Many previous contract killings, such as that of the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, were never solved.
      ‘Rolling into the abyss’

      On Saturday morning, people came to lay flowers at the site of the murder.

      Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister now also in opposition, said: “In the 21st century, a leader of the opposition is being demonstratively shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin.

      “The country is rolling into the abyss.”

      Russian pro-democracy activist and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov said on his Facebook page: “Devastated to hear of the cold-blooded murder of my long-time opposition colleague Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow, quite close to the Kremlin.

      “Shot four times, once for each child he leaves behind. A man of Boris’s quality no longer fit Putin’s Russia.

      “He always believed Russia could change from the inside and without violence; after 2012 I disagreed with this. When we argued, Boris would tell me I was too hasty and that in Russia you had to live a long time to see change. Now he’ll never see it. Rest In Peace.”

      Michael McFaul, US ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014 and now a Stanford University professor, called the shooting “one of the most shocking things that I can remember happening in Russia for a long, long time”.

      Earlier this month, Nemtsov gave an interview in which he said he was scared that Putin would try to have him killed. A self-assured and colourful character, Nemtsov enjoyed the media spotlight and never minced his words. He came to prominence as a reform-minded governor in the Nizhny Novgorod region during the 1990s, before he was named deputy prime minister under Yeltsin.

      He had criticised Putin and his regime both for corruption and for the recent war in Ukraine, which he said was manufactured by Putin. He was featured in a number of lists of traitors and members of a supposed “fifth column” inside Russia published by pro-Kremlin and nationalist figures.

      Putin himself has spoken of a “fifth column” in the country and, in recent weeks, politicians and nationalists launched an “anti-Maidan” movement in Russia and said they would not allow opposition politicians to create a Ukrainian-style uprising in Moscow, suggesting that the opposition was working at the behest of foreign enemies of Russia. World leaders condemn murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov | World news | The Guardian
      Russian treasures continue to be looted.

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      • #4
        The Warmonger: a video by Nemtsov proving Putin’s involvement in the war in Donbas
        2015/02/28 • Featured, War in the Donbas

        31 July 2014 – Russian opposition films a video film exposing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and shares it online.

        The film is called “Putin the warmonger.” In it, the Russian opposition proves Russia’s involvement in the downing of the Boeing-777 MH17 flight in Donbas and the direct involvement of Russian President Vladimir Putin in fomenting a military conflict in Ukraine.

        “Since April 2014, Ukraine is conducting an anti-terrorist operation in East Ukraine. Putin denies supporting terrorists from Russia,” says the video’s description. The opposition emphasizes that there are five facts proving that Putin is lying, and that Russian authorities instigated the military conflict in Donbas.

        MUST VIEW: The Warmonger: a video by Nemtsov proving Putin's involvement in the war in Donbas -Euromaidan Press |

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        • #5
          Intrigue and Fear Flood Russia After Killing of Boris Nemtsov
          ANDREW E. KRAMER FEB. 28, 2015 NY TIMES

          MOSCOW — About two weeks before he was shot and killed in the highest-profile political assassination in Russia in a decade, Boris Y. Nemtsov met with an old friend to discuss his latest research into what he said was dissembling and misdeeds in the Kremlin.

          He was, as always, pugilistic and excited, saying he wanted to publish the research in a pamphlet to be called “Putin and the War,” about President Vladimir V. Putin and Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict, recalled Yevgenia Albats, the editor of New Times magazine. Both knew the stakes.

          Mr. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, knew his work was dangerous but tried to convince her that, as a former high official in the Kremlin, he enjoyed a certain immunity, Ms. Albats said.

          “He was afraid of being killed,” Ms. Albats said. “And he was trying to convince himself, and me, they wouldn’t touch him because he was a member of the Russian government, a vice premier, and they wouldn’t want to create a precedent. Because as he said, one time the power will change hands in Russia again, and those who served Putin wouldn’t want to create this precedent.”

          As supporters of Mr. Nemtsov laid flowers on the sidewalk where he was shot and killed late Friday, a shiver of fear moved through the political opposition in Moscow.

          The worry was that the killing would become a pivot point toward an even less pluralistic form of government for Russian domestic politics, already under strain from Russia’s unacknowledged involvement in the war in Ukraine and runaway inflation in an economic crisis.

          “Another terrible page has been turned in our history,” Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the exiled former political prisoner, wrote in a statement about the killing.

          “For more than a year now, the television screens have been flooded with pure hate for us,” he wrote of the opposition to Mr. Putin. “And now everyone from the blogger at his apartment desk to President Putin himself is searching for enemies, accusing one another of provocation. What is wrong with us?”

          Russian authorities said on Saturday that they were investigating several theories about the crime, some immediately scorned as improbable, including the possibility that fellow members of the opposition had killed Mr. Nemtsov to create a martyr.

          That line of investigation would examine whether Mr. Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former first deputy prime minister and longtime leader of the opposition, had become a “sacrificial victim” to rally support for opponents of the government, the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement.

          The statement, the fullest official response to Mr. Nemtsov’s killing so far, said the police were pursing half a dozen leads in the case, the highest-profile assassination in Russia during the tenure of Mr. Putin.

          The committee also cited the possibility that Islamic extremists had killed Mr. Nemtsov over his position on the Charlie Hedbo shootings in Paris, saying that security forces had been aware of threats against him from Islamist militants.

          The committee also said that “radical personalities” on one or another side of the Ukrainian conflict might have been responsible. The statement said the police were also considering possible business or personal disputes as motives.

          “The investigation is considering several versions,” the statements said. The first it listed was: “a murder as a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country, where the figure of Nemtsov could have become a sort of sacrificial victim for those who stop at nothing to achieve their political goals.”

          This explanation echoed and elaborated on a statement posted overnight on the Kremlin website, which also characterized the murder as a “provocation.”

          “The president noted that this cruel murder has all the signs of a contract killing and carries an exclusively provocative character,” the Kremlin statement said. “Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to the relatives and loved ones of Boris Nemtsov, who died tragically.”

          Mr. Putin, in a message to Mr. Nemtsov’s mother released by the Kremlin on Saturday, said that “everything will be done so that the organisers and perpetrators of a vile and cynical murder get the punishment they deserve,” Agence France-Presse reported.

          Life News, a television station with close ties to the Russian security services, quoted a source as suggesting that Mr. Nemtsov was murdered in revenge for having caused a woman to have an abortion.

          Law enforcement critics say this can serve to create a smokescreen of confusion in high-profile cases, but it also reflects a Soviet-era policy for managing the security services, under which investigators are credited with making progress when a version of events is ruled out — giving the police an incentive to begin with a wide array of improbable theories.

          After laying flowers on the mound, and kneeling in respect before the blooms festooning the sidewalk on a rainy, glum midafternoon, Anatoly Chubais, a co-founder with Mr. Nemtsov of the Union of Right Forces political party, scorned the investigators’ claim.

          “Today, we had a statement that the liberal opposition organized the killing,” he said. “Before this, they wrote that the liberals created the economic crisis. In this country, we have created demand for anger and hate.”

          Ms. Albats, who had discussed with Mr. Nemtsov his last, unfinished research project, an expose of the unstated Russian military support for pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, said of this state of affairs in domestic Russian politics, “we are at war now.”

          “People with dreams about Russia’s democratic future are at war,” she said. “Those who are believers in democracy, those who for some reason, back in the late 1980s, got on board this train, and had all these hopes and aspirations, they are at war today.”

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          • #6
            All Motives on the Table in Killing of Russian Opposition Figure Nemtsov
            By Associated Press | February 28, 2015 EPOCH TIMES

            Make sure to view SKY NEWS video:
            All Motives on the Table in Killing of Russian Opposition Figure Nemtsov

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            • #7

              This combination picture made on Feb. 28 shows (from top to bottom, from left to right) Russian Human Rights activist Natalia Estemirova during a press conference in Grozny, Chechnya, on July 26, 2007, Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky during a memorial to murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in London, on October 13, 2006, leader of the Liberal Russia party Sergei Yushenkov during the congress of the movement 'Liberal Russia' in Moscow on February 08, 2003, former Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko during a press conference in London on September 14, 2004, Russian opposition leader and former cabinet minister Boris Nemtsov during a press conference in Moscow on August 17, 2007, an undated and unlocated handout image made available on January 20, 2009 by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta of Russian human-rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, a handout photo provided on November 15, 2010 by Hermitage Capital Management and taken on December 29, 2006 of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in Moscow, an undated and unlocated handout image made available on January 20, 2009 by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta of Russian Novaya Gazeta reporter Anastasiya Baburova, and Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya of Moscow's Novaya Gazeta newspaper speaking in New York on October 16, 2002. The list of Kremlin opponents who have been killed or died in suspicious circumstances in recent years got longer with the slaying of prominent opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow on Feb. 27.

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              • #8
                Boris Nemtsov’s last facebook post: Crimea annexed unlawfully - The Cold War Returns
                2015/02/28 EUROMAIDAN PRESS

                On the evening of 27 January 2015, the oppositionary Russian politician Boris Nemtsov was killed near the Kremlin. His last facebook post, made in the morning of that day, was about the illegitimacy of Crimean “referendum” with which Putin annexed the Ukrainian peninsula. We provide a translation:

                “The referendum is Putin’s main argument in support of the annexation of Crimea

                We remember how it started. The day before, on 27 February 2014 the building of the Verkhovha Rada [of Crimea] was seized by armed people. Girkin wrote and talked about that often. By the way, he was taking part in the invasion.

                Then, without a quorum (there were 47 out of 100 deputies in the hall) the Verkhovha Rada of Crimea at gunpoint voted to conduct a referendum for independence. There was no press in the hall, and no broadcast.

                This one episode tells about the total unlawfulness of Crimea’s seizure.

                But Putin and Lavrov continue to mumble [their lies].

                Watch this video of the seizure of the building of the Cabinet of Ministers of Crimea.”
                Boris Nemtsov's last facebook post: Crimea annexed unlawfully -Euromaidan Press |

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                • #9
                  Russians To March For Murdered Nemtsov
                  RFE/RL March 01, 2015 RADIO FREE EUROPE

                  Opposition supporters are due to march through Moscow on March 1 in memory of the slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

                  Thousands of people laid flowers and lit candles on February 28 on a bridge near the Kremlin where the opposition politician and former deputy prime minister was shot dead late on February 27.

                  Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the killing as a "provocation", and told Nemtsov's mother that the killers would be found and punished.

                  National investigators say they are pursuing several lines of inquiry, including the possibility that Nemtsov, who was Jewish, was killed by radical Islamists or that the opposition killed him to blacken the president's name.

                  Nemtsov had said in an interview that he feared Putin may want him dead because of his outspoken criticism of Russia's role in Ukraine's separatist conflict.

                  Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Nemtsov had told him about two weeks ago that he planned to publish evidence of Russian involvement in Ukraine's separatist conflict.

                  "Someone was very afraid of this ... They killed him," Poroshenko said in televised comments shown in Ukraine.

                  Kyiv, and many in the West accuse Moscow of sending soldiers and arms to support separatist rebels who have risen up in east Ukraine, an accusation Russia has denied.

                  Nemtsov's lawyer told RFE/RL's Russian Service that Nemtsov was a victim of Russia's political regime no matter who pulled the trigger.

                  Nemtsov's killing has been condemned around the globe.

                  On February 28, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he "was shocked by and condemns the brutal killing" of Nemtsov.

                  Amnesty International said his killing "must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated."

                  The killing came just hours after a radio interview in which Nemtsov denounced Putin's "mad, aggressive" policies and the day before he was to help lead a rally protesting Russia's actions in the Ukraine crisis and the economic crisis at home.

                  After his death, organizers canceled the rally and instead called for a demonstration to mourn him on March 1 in central Moscow.

                  The city gave quick approval for that gathering, in contrast to its usual slow and grudging permission for opposition rallies.

                  The opposition leader's slaying adds to a growing list of Russian activists, journalists, and politicians who have challenged the Kremlin since the collapse of the Soviet Union some 25 years ago.

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                  • #10
                    Moscow March Honors Slain Putin Critic
                    NBC News Alexey Eremenko 9:41 AM ET 2/1/2015

                    People march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, near the Kremlin in Moscow on March 1, 2015.

                    MOSCOW — Immense crowds turned out in Moscow on Sunday to march through the city in honor of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

                    Nemtsov — an opposition politician and frequent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin — was supposed to appear at a Sunday rally protesting Russia's role in the fighting in Ukraine. The rally was converted into a memorial march after the 55-year-old was gunned down late Friday on a street just steps from the Kremlin.

                    Russians of all ages took to the streets under gray skies on Sunday, many carrying signs with a single word: "Fight" and clutching images of Nemtsov.

                    Nemtsov's death has ignited a fury among opposition figures who've assailed the Kremlin for creating an atmosphere of intolerance of any dissent and called the killing an assassination. Putin has called Nemtsov's killing a "provocation," and told Nemtsov's mother that the killers would be found and punished.

                    The opposition said Moscow city authorities had approved the march from 3 p.m. (7:00 EST), allowing for up to 50,000 people, though the organizers say more could show up to march alongside the River Moskva, according to Reuters.
                    Boris Nemtsov Murder: Moscow March Honors Slain Putin Critic - NBC News

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                    • #11
                      Ukrainian model missing after witnessing murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov
                      14:46 Mar. 1, 2015 UKRAINE TODAY

                      The Ukrainian Embassy's head of Consular Affairs in Russia said location of Anna Duritskaya not known

                      A Ukrainian young lady who witnessed the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has gone missing. That's according to the head of consular affairs at the Ukrainian Embassy in Russia, reports Ukraine's UNIAN news agency.

                      The diplomat said with 23-year-old model Anna Duritskaya being classed as a witness, she is entitled to return to Ukraine. At the same time, Ukrainian MP Ostap Semerak reports that Russian law enforcement have forcibly detained her in a private apartment without being granted consular assistance. However, she has occasionally been in contact.

                      Anna Duritskaya was walking Nemtsov near the Kremlin early on Friday night when the prominent Russian politician was shot dead.

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                      • #12
                        Moscow city authorities had approved a march of up to 50,000 people there.

                        The attendance has yet to be confirmed but runs into the tens of thousands

                        There has been no official figure on turnout yet, with estimates ranging from 16,000 to 70,000.

                        Many people carried the national flag and flowers to lay at the scene of the killing, which is already piled high with tributes. A few were holding Ukrainian flags.

                        Some of the placards read "He died for the future of Russia" and "They were afraid of you, Boris".

                        Opposition politician Ilya Yashin told Associated Press: "It is an act of terror. It is a political murder aimed at frightening the... part of the population that supported Nemtsov and did not agree with the government. I hope we won't get scared."

                        Another opposition figure, Gennady Gudkov, told Reuters: "If we can stop the campaign of hate that's being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia. If not, then we face the prospect of mass civil conflict."

                        Pro-Kremlin activists from the group Anti-Maidan had said they would not disrupt the march.

                        At the scene: Sarah Rainsford, BBC News, Moscow

                        There's a very sombre mood here, as the crowd gathers to remember Boris Nemtsov. There's still a deep sense of shock at his killing just beneath the Kremlin walls.

                        He had been planning a rare opposition rally today - against the policies of President Putin. Instead his friends and supporters have come out to mourn his death.

                        Mr Nemtsov's friends are certain he died for daring to speak out against corruption, against Mr Putin's increasingly authoritarian rule and against the conflict in Ukraine that Russia denies any role in. Boris Nemtsov called it President Putin's "mad, aggressive war."

                        But above all - there's anger here, at the fervently nationalist mood that Mr Putin's policies have created. One that's fanned each day, by state television.

                        Russia has become a country where critics are labelled traitors. And now, one of the sharpest voices of dissent has been silenced. BBC News - Boris Nemtsov murder: Tens of thousands march in Moscow

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                        • #13
                          Moscow march: thousands gather in memory of Boris Nemtsov - VIDEO THE GUARDIAN March 1, 2015
                          Moscow march: thousands gather in memory of Boris Nemtsov - video | World news | The Guardian

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                          • #14
                            Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov gives his last televised interview just hours before being shot dead near the Kremlin. In the interview, on radio station Ekho Moskvy in Moscow, Nemtsov calls for political reform in Russia and labels president Vladimir Putin a 'pathological liar', who he blames for starting an 'insane, aggressive [and] murderous' war in the Ukraine

                            Boris Nemtsov interviewed hours before death: ‘Putin is a pathological liar’ | World news | The Guardian

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                            • #15
                              Boris Nemtsov: marchers in Moscow honour murdered opposition politician – as it happened - Thousands of people take to the streets in memory of the former deputy prime minister and vehement critic of Vladimir Putin’s rule
                              Peter Walker 1 March 2015 11.49 EST THE GUARDIAN

                              Closing summary

                              It’s after dark in Moscow and time for a closing summary.
                              -Large numbers of people have rallied in Moscow following the murder of the prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead late on Friday. Police put numbers at 7,000, while those involved said the protest drew 50,000.
                              -There were similar if smaller protests in other Russian cities, including Ekaterinburg and St Petersburg.
                              -The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has called for a “thorough, transparent, real investigation” into the killing.
                              -The Ukrainian MP Alexei Goncharenko was arrested in connection with the protest. In a Facebook update he said he was held because of a T-short carrying a protest slogan.
                              -Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, has said the murder was “the full responsibility of [Vladimir Putin] and his government”.

                              read complete article: Boris Nemtsov: marchers in Moscow honour murdered opposition politician – as it happened | World news | The Guardian

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