Prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was laid to rest on March 3 in Moscow after being shot dead close to the Kremlin on February 27, just days before a planned protest against the Kremlin.
Over the last week, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America have provided in-depth, comprehensive coverage of the murder, including breaking news from Moscow, comments by Russian opposition and human rights activists and reaction from U.S. officials.
Within an hour after it became known that opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed, RFE/RL’s Russian Service LiveU team was on the spot talking to people who came in a shock to the bridge in the center of Moscow.
On Sunday, March 1 when more than 70,000 people went out to the streets of Moscow RFE/RL had a live stream of the march, including interviews with participants of the rally about their memories of Nemtsov and their hopes for Russia’s future.
RFE/RL also had video reports from several Russian cities (Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Tomsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Voronezh, Omsk) where people decided to go out to the street in a sign of respect for the opposition political figure and protest against authorities.
In an early February interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Nemstov spoke of the planned March 1 opposition rally, outlining his plans to “free Russia from Putin.” Following Nemtsov’s murder, the rally was called off, and instead tens of thousands of Russians marched in a massive funeral procession in the center of Moscow.
Theories surrounding Nemtsov’s death have emerged, with Russian officials and pro-Kremlin activists quick to point the finger at the West , while others argue that there could be a Chechen connection . A Russian security expert points out the significance of the time and place of Nemtsov’s killing.
Many fear that–as in other high-profile cases–the people behind Nemtsov’s murder will never be charged. RFE/RL looks back at 20 years of unresolved tragedy in Russia.
VOA’s Russian Service reacted swiftly to the news of Boris Nemtsov’s murder Friday afternoon, providing immediate updates on its web page, live blog and social media. The comprehensive, online and social media coverage continued throughout the weekend.
VOA Moscow-based stringer Danila Galperovich rushed to the crime scene and provided updates, photos and tweeting from the scene.
Within hours of Nemtsov’s murder, the Russian Service posted exclusive interviews with Mikhail M. Kasyanov, former prime minister and now a fierce Putin critic, Vladimir Bukovsky, a leading member of the dissident movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and Vadim Prokhorov, Nemtsov’s lawyer.
VOA prominently reported reaction from senior U.S. officials, including statements by President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, U.S. Senators John McCain and Mark Kirk, and Rep. Christopher Smith. In addition, the Service carried comments and interviews by leading experts on Russia, including former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, and Freedom House President Mark Lagon.
On Sunday, VOA’s Russian Service aired online a special 30-minute live video program devoted to the murder of Boris Nemtsov. The show included live reports from Moscow on the opposition-sponsored memorial march, reaction to the murder by senior U.S. officials, and exclusive interviews and statements from former Freedom House President David Kramer, founder of the Hermitage Capital Management fund and key lobbyist for the Magnitsky legislation, Bill Browder, and NED fellow and former co-chairman of the Russia’s opposition Right Cause Party, Leonid Gozman. Donald N. Jensen, a senior fellow at SAIS was a live guest.
VOA’s Russian Service also prominently featured RFERL’s live coverage of the protest.