Saturday, February 28, 2015

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov assassinated

Photo: Boris Nemtsov's body in the shadow of St. Basil Cathidral (AP/Pavel Golovkin, copied from Quartz).

Last night, Boris Nemtsov (55), opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was gunned down with 4 bullets in his back as he was walking near Kremlin, in the heart of Moscow. The gunmen had got out of a car and then escaped with it.

Mr. Nemtsov was a fearless opponent of Putin, a supporter of democracy and a friend of Ukraine. He opposed the annexation of Crimea and the current aggressive war. He was to lead a peace rally tomorrow. At the same time, he anticipated his death. On Feb. 10, he wrote that he was afraid Putin would kill him.

The BBC lists previous violent death of Putin's opponents:

"April 2003 - Liberal politician Sergey Yushenkov assassinated near his Moscow home.

July 2003 - Investigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died after 16-day mysterious illness.

July 2004 - Forbes magazine Russian editor Paul Klebnikov shot from moving car on Moscow street, died later in hospital.

October 2006 - Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead outside her Moscow apartment.

November 2006 - Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium in London hotel.

March 2013 -Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin power broker turned Putin critic, found dead in his UK home."

Do you understand now why Putin's approval rating is so high? Because people see what happens to those who disapprove him.

I hesitated whether to include in this post a photo of the crime scene. This matter is controversial, you think of the victim's family members... Finally, as a compromise, I added a diminished version of the image, just because it is so powerful: the violent death in front view, and in the background - the iconic old center of Moscow.

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