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Remembering Boris Nemtsov: The Freest Russian Politician

The Legacy of Boris Nemtsov: A Champion of Democracy and Human Rights

Remembering Boris Nemtsov: The Freest Russian Politician

New York ( — Prior to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the most tragic events occurred eight years ago. Boris Nemtsov was murdered on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow. He was a free-spirited Russian politician, fearless and incredibly charming. The murderers have not been identified formally, but we know who they are – Putin was the mastermind behind it, with the perpetrators from Chechnya and the FSB. They hated Boris because he had everything they were always deprived of. Nobody in Russia spoke out against Putin’s hybrid war on Ukraine in 2014 as vocally as Boris Nemtsov did. He protested loudly against the annexation of Crimea and always maintained that Putin, the crisis, and war were links in a terrible chain. Boris Nemtsov was a Russian physicist, liberal politician, and an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. His life and activist career ended with his assassination in Moscow. As part of the same political struggle, Nemtsov was an active organizer and participant in Dissenters’ Marches, Strategy-31 civil actions, and rallies “For Fair Elections.” Nemtsov was assassinated on 27 February 2015, alongside his Ukrainian partner Anna Durytska, on a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow. Four shots were fired from behind. At the time of his assassination, he was in Moscow helping to organize a rally against the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the Russian financial crisis. He was also working on a report demonstrating that Russian troops were fighting alongside pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, which the Kremlin had been denying, and which was unpopular both externally and in Russia. In the weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Putin would have him killed. In late June 2017, a Moscow court found five Chechnya-born men guilty of agreeing to kill Nemtsov in exchange for 15 million rubles (US$253,000); the identity and whereabouts of the person who hired them remain officially unknown. Rest in peace Boris.