The murder of Boris Nemtsov has polarized Russia. Those who support Putin insinuate that the murder was carried out to implicate Putin, to tarnish his image in some way. Those who don't support him quite simply seem to think that even though he certainly didn't pull the trigger, he sanctioned the killing.

Around the world, the lines are a little more blurred. Those two camps still exist, but others are emerging, such as the CIA being responsible in the hope of causing internal strife within Russia.

Paul Craig Roberts points out in a recent article that Putin stated more than two years ago that a foreign power could stage a false flag assassination to demonize Russia and its leadership.

Nemtsov wasn't always a politician, he was a physicist prior to entering politics. His interest in politics started at university, and in 1997 he founded the young Russia movement. Various political roles followed, including the post of Deputy Prime Minister during the Yeltsin Presidency and he was co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia-Peoples Freedom Party from 2012.

According to a report in The New York Times, Nemtsov was afraid for his life. Part of that report reads:

"He was afraid of being killed," Ms. Albats said. "And he was trying to convince himself, and me, they wouldn't touch him because he was a member of the Russian government, a vice premier, and they wouldn't want to create a precedent. Because as he said, one time the power will change hands in Russia again, and those who served Putin wouldn't want to create this precedent."

On February 27 2015 his fears were realized, he was shot four times on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge close to the Kremlin.

Nemtsov wasn't alone in dying prematurely after standing up against Vladimir Putin.

Sergei Yushenkov was murdered in 2003 outside his home in Moscow. He was gunned down just hours after the Ministry of Justice registered his liberal Russia movement as an official political party.

Paul Klebnikov was killed in a drive-by shooting in Moscow in 2004. An American of Russian descent, he was an investigative journalist and an editor for Forbes Russia. He had written articles about corruption in Russia just prior to his death.

Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist and a well-known and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. She was shot four times at her Moscow apartment block on October 7th 2006, Putin's birthday. Politkovskaya was an expert at uncovering political and state corruption. Although five men were convicted of her murder, no motive or link between her and the gunmen has ever been discovered. The gunmen have refused to disclose who ordered the killings.

Alexander Litvinenko was a former Russian spy. He had publically accused Putin of corruption and the apartment block bombings that were instrumental in starting the second Chechen war in 1999. He settled in London and died in November 2006, after drinking tea laced with the radioactive element polonium-210.

Radioactive traces led back to the Millenium Hotel where Litvinenko has met with two other former spies, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovtun. Both remain free in Russia and deny any connection to the murder.

Stanislav Markelov was shot dead in January 2009, and Anastasia Baburova was killed as she tried to help him. Markelov was a human rights activist who had just held a press conference protesting the release of a Russian army colonel who had killed a Chechen child. He had also previously represented Anna Politkovskaya. Baburova was a journalist who ran to aid Markelov and was killed.

Natalia Estemirova was a human rights activist and friend and colleague of Anna Politkovskaya. She was kidnaped in Grozny in July 2009, and found dead some hours later. She had collected evidence of human rights abuses during the second Chechen war in 1999.

Sergei Magnitsky was a lawyer. He died in police custody in November 2009, after sustaining injuries consistent with a severe beating. Medical assistance was not requested. He was investigating a Russian state multi-million dollar tax fraud. He uncovered evidence that the police were involved and at that point was arrested and charged with committing the crime himself. Three years after his death the case against him concluded and he was convicted of fraud.

Boris Berezovsky had settled in the United Kingdom after having a falling out with Putin. Once settled, he became an outspoken critic of the Russian president. He was found dead in the bath at his home in 2013, but the coroner was not satisfied that he had committed suicide and recorded an open verdict.

Coincidence or a wiping out of those who could harm his credibility both at home and aboard? Chances are we will never know.

Source

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