Former Russian “young reformer” and current opposition figure Boris Nemtsov was shot dead Friday night as he walked across the Bolshoy Zamoskvoretsky Bridge, adjacent to Red Square in Moscow. Vladimir Markin, spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said that Nemtsov was hit numerous times by shots fired by a gunman or gunmen who escaped by car, and he died at the scene before emergency medical services arrived. Markin also stated that “the investigation is looking at several versions” as to who was responsible.
Western press headlines immediately declared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s responsibility for the assassination. Presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said:
“Vladimir Putin noted that this cruel murder has all the signs of being a contract killing, and is absolutely provocational in nature.”
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