A POLITICAL ASSASSINATION?

Boris Nemtsov’s Report to be Released

by Emma Provencal

Boris Nemtsov’s report on the Ukrainian conflict is said to be released in the coming month. The report is still incomplete, but original material has been salvaged despite police searches of his home, office, and the seizing of documents by the authorities.

According to the co-chairmen of Nemtsov’s party, Ilya Yashin, a team of professionals have been assembled to complete the report that will be focusing on Russia’s military involvement in the conflict (BBC).

Boris Nemtsov was gunned down on February 27th in Moscow while walking past the Kremlin. It has been speculated that he was killed because of his political views regarding Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Nemtsov was an outspoken critic of Russia’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and was against the 2014 annexation of the Crimea region. It is believed that he was assassinated by the Putin government, but these claims have not yet been proven (The Guardian).

Nemtsov meeting Putin Source: Presidential Press and Information Office
Nemtsov meeting Putin
Source: Presidential Press and Information Office

In a 2014 interview with Anthony Bourdain, Nemtsov was asked if he feared for his life and asked to comment on his relationship with Putin. Despite admitting to always being under threat, Nemtsov seemed relaxed when answering Bourdain’s questions. Throughout the meeting filmed by CNN he criticized Putin’s ways of running the country and even ventured as far as saying that “corruption…is a problem for the United States, for Canada, for the United Kingdom, et cetera.

For Putin’s Russia, this is a system. This is not a problem.” (CNN) Given his ease at criticizing the government on display here it is easy to see why he would be seen as a threat by many people in positions of power.

As of late, two men have been charged in Nemtsov’s death and another three have been imprisoned. Out of the two men who have been charged only one has confessed. Zaur Dadaev confessed to his involvement in the crime but has since claimed that his statement was obtained through torture. A member of Russia’s Human Rights Council, Andrei Babushkin states that when he visited the suspect he noticed abrasions on his arms and legs.

The suspect went on to say that he had been detained for two days with a bag over his head. Russia’s Investigative Committee has not confirmed or denied Babushkin’s statement (CBC).

Although Putin and his associates are aggressive and powerful, it is of utmost importance that citizens rise up to protest Nemtsov’s death and demand transparency and lawfulness from the government if no conclusive evidence is released about his death. Hopefully the release of Nemtsov’s report will remind people of his importance and spur them to action so that the violence and corruption that characterize this country aren’t normalized any longer.

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