Former Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow at 11:40 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 outside of the Kremlin.
A lawyer for Nemtsov reported that the victim was receiving death threats over social media; however, there is no definite reason for why he was targeted for assassination.
“He was shot with a pistol from a white car which fled the scene, a police source told Russia’s Interfax news agency,” a BBC article stated. “According to Russian-language news website Meduza, ‘several people’ got out of a car and shot him.”
Putin has condemned the murder, while President Barack Obama said the Russian government should investigate the murder promptly and impartially.
Nemtsov had recently appeared at an anti-war rally concerning the war in Ukraine, as he was a strong opponent of Russia’s hand in the country’s politics.
According to an article by the Associated Press: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has marginalized and intimidated his political opponents, jailing some and driving others into exile, since mass anti-Putin protests swept Moscow in 2011 and 2012.”
Rampant speculation regarding motive for murdering Mr. Nemtsov has ranged from Putin’s attempts to “destabilize the political situation in Russia” to “Islamist Extremists.”
Undoubtedly, in the wake of a cease-fire between rebels and Ukrainian soldiers, the ire of the public may turn to Moscow due to Nemtsov’s recent appearances. An interesting fact to point out however is that the number of street killings has been fewer under the Putin administration since the 1990s.
It still remains to be seen what person, group, or groups are fully responsible for the attack.