Saturday, February 28, 2015

Russian opposition leader killed in attack a day before major anti-Putin protest

A leading Russian opposition politician and vocal critic of Vladimir Putin was gunned down in a 'politically motivated' drive-by shooting on the streets of Moscow this evening.

Former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was under surveillance by his killers before they fatally shot him down in the shadow of the Kremlin a day before a major anti-Putin protest.

He had been working on a report presenting evidence he believed proved Russia's direct involvement in the separatist rebellion that erupted in eastern Ukraine last year.
An unidentified assassin killed the liberal politician - who had been tipped as a future Russian president - with four shots fired while he was walking with a woman across a bridge.  
'The murderers knew Nemtsov's route, he was spied on,' said a source. 
He was shot in the back just metres from the Kremlin shortly after midnight local time. His female companion, a Ukrainian citizen, was unhurt.
President Putin condemned the murder and said it may have been a contract killing, according to Russian news agencies.
US President Barack Obama has also condemned the 'brutal murder', the White House National Security Council said tonight on Twitter.
The White House called on the Russian government to conduct a 'prompt, impartial and transparent investigation' and to 'ensure those responsible are brought to justice.' 
Obama said he met Nemtsov in Moscow in 2009 when the Russian was willing to 'share his candid views with me'.
'We offer our sincere condolences to his family and to the Russian people, who have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights,' he said. 

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