Russian investigators scrambled Monday to track down the killers of outspoken opposition figure Boris Nemtsov as fresh details emerged about the most shocking political assassination of Vladimir Putin’s rule.
The 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, a longtime Putin critic and renowned anti-corruption crusader, was shot dead shortly before midnight Friday while walking across a bridge just a short distance from the Kremlin.
Shocked opposition figures in Russia and Western leaders called for a full and transparent probe into the murder of Nemtsov, who served as Boris Yeltsin’s deputy prime minister in the 1990s. On Sunday, about 70,000 people joined a memorial march in Moscow for Nemtsov, numbers not seen since the mass anti-Putin rallies of 2011 and 2012.
Putin himself vowed to spare no effort to bring the killers to justice, ordering law enforcement chiefs to personally take on the case. A reward of three million rubles ($48,000) is on offer for information on Nemtsov’s death, a substantial amount in a country where the average monthly salary is 60,000 rubles ($960).