Remember the Date: 27 February 2015 – the assassination of liberal politician and Putin critic Boris Nemtsov
Photo: Wikipedia

On 27 February 2015 Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on the Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow. 


RFE/RL, 27 February 2021: Several thousand people commemorated the sixth anniversary of the death of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow. Opposition supporters laid flowers on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge — a short walk from the Kremlin — where Nemtsov was gunned down on February 27, 2015. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who was once seen as a potential successor to President Boris Yeltsin, was an ardent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prominent opposition figures who participated in the memorial included: Yabloko co-founder Grigory Yavlinsky; Moscow district council member Ilya Yashin; Moscow City Duma Deputy Yulia Galyamina; activist Vladimir Kara-Murza; presidential Human Rights Council member Nikolai Svanidze; former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov; and the wife of imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, Yulia Navalnaya.

From the entry in Wikipedia, ‘Assassination of Boris Nemtsov‘: 

‘The assassination of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian statesman and politician opposed to the government of Vladimir Putin, happened in central Moscow on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge at 23:31 local time on 27 February 2015. An unknown assailant fired seven or eight shots from a Makarov pistol; four of them hit Boris Nemtsov in the head, heart, liver and stomach, killing him almost instantly. He died hours after appealing to the public to support a march against Russia’s war in Ukraine. The assassination was met with widespread international condemnation and concern for the situation of the Russian opposition. Russian authorities also condemned the murder and vowed a thorough investigation. On 8 March 2015, Russian authorities charged Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadaev, both originating from Northern Caucasus, with involvement in the crime. Dadaev confessed to involvement in the murder according to Russian authorities, but, according to Russian media, later retracted his confession. Three more suspects were arrested around the same time and according to Russian media another suspect blew himself up in Grozny when Russian police forces surrounded his apartment block.”Nemtsov was shot and killed crossing the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin walking home after a meal out, in the company of Anna Duritskaya, a 23-year-old Ukrainian model who had been his girlfriend for two and a half years. She witnessed Nemtsov’s killing, but was not physically harmed herself. TV Tsentr’s video of the bridge at the time of the murder shows that it occurred as a municipal utility vehicle was passing by Nemtsov and a person is seen escaping from the scene in a white or grey automobile. According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, at the time of the murder all the security cameras in the area were switched off for maintenance. The only video of the incident was obtained from the video feed camera of TV Tsentr studio, from a long distance. At the time of the killing, the camera was blocked by a stopped municipal vehicle. The killing happened the day before Nemtsov was due to lead the opposition march Vesna (Russian for “spring”), a street demonstration organised to protest against economic conditions in Russia and against the war in Ukraine. […]
“Less than three weeks before his murder, on 10 February, Nemtsov had written on Russia’s “Sobesednik” news website that his 87-year-old mother was afraid Putin would kill him. He added that his mother is also afraid for former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny. When asked if he himself was afraid for his life, Nemtsov answered, “Yes, not as strongly as my mother, but still…” In an extended version of the interview Nemtsov reportedly added, “I am just joking. If I were afraid of Putin, I wouldn’t be in this line of work.” Two weeks prior to his assassination Nemtsov had met “with an old friend”, Yevgenia Albats, editor of New Times magazine, to discuss his research into Putin’s role in the Ukraine conflict. Albats said that Nemtsov “was afraid of being killed” but “was trying to convince himself, and me, they wouldn’t touch him because he was a [former] 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”.

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