Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, was shot dead steps from the Kremlin in a murder that underscored the risks taken by the Russian opposition.
Nemtsov, 55, was shot four times in the back by assailants in a white car as he walked across a bridge over the Moskva River in central Moscow with a Ukrainian woman, who was unhurt, just before midnight on Friday, police said.
Steps from the Kremlin? That's convenient, too. The killers could kill the man while on a coffee run. No overtime pay. Which is nice for cash-strapped Russia.
Leaving the Ukrainian woman unhurt won't look good on their annual fitness report, of course.
But don't you worry, Putin is on the case:
Putin condemned the "brutal" slaying and took the investigation under presidential control, saying it could have been a contract killing and a "provocation" on the eve of a big opposition protest Nemtsov had been due to lead on Sunday.
Putin will reportedly put famed murder expert and dogged pursuer of "real killers"--O. J. Simpson--on the case.
We now resume our regular foreign aggression programing.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was murdered because he planned to disclose evidence of Russia's involvement in Ukraine's separatist conflict.
Although I'm bewildered by the notion that Russia's direct involvement isn't already clear.
So who else has the proof? Surely Nemtsov didn't dig this up on his own?
Or are there other bullet-riddled bodies all around Moscow this morning?
UPDATE: Nemtsov's death is a tragedy. So when does Putin increase the death toll to mere statistic?
UPDATE: I admire their courage:
Tens of thousands of people are marching in central Moscow to honour opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday.
They carried portraits of Mr Nemtsov and banners saying "I am not afraid".
He had been due to lead an opposition march on Sunday but his killing turned the event into a mourning rally.
But I worry too, if Putin just considers a rally like that a "target-rich environment."