Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP
Boris Nemtsov, one of the loudest critics of President Vladimir Putin, was killed just outside the Kremlin.
Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion who was a key Nemtsov ally before he fled Russia in 2013, told BuzzFeed News that the blame for his death lay with the Kremlin.
“He was going after every wrongdoing, revealing the truth about Putin’s billions and stealing money. He didn’t give them a chance just to forget about their crimes, and they silenced him,” Kasparov said.
“The man’s shot in cold blood intentionally in the back. This is not about robbery. It’s the next stage,” he added. “There’s no good reason to kill him except for the fact that the regime wanted him out.”
“The tragic irony is that he didn’t want to see another revolution,” Kasparov said. “I was more radical — I kept telling him, “It’s all useless, elections, all the little things, this regime will not be changed through the ballot. There will be blood.”
A former deputy prime minister of Russia who later became one of Vladimir Putin’s top opponents died on Friday after being shot four times on the street in central Moscow.
LifeNews, a pro-Kremlin cable channel with barely concealed links to Russia’s security services, reported that Boris Nemtsov, 55, died in a gangland-style shooting just outside the Kremlin on Friday night. Nemtsov died on the scene from wounds to his back, the TASS state news agency reported.
Russian media gave differing accounts of whether Nemtsov was shot by one or multiple assailants, citing police sources. The killer or killers managed to escape despite the fact that the attack took place on a bridge just south of Red Square, one of Russia’s most heavily guarded and surveilled locations, Russian media reported.
“I’m standing on the bridge and looking at Nemtsov’s body on the ground. He’s definitely been killed,” Nemtsov’s lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, told the Kommersant newspaper.
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