15 hours after the murder What we know about the investigation into the killing of Boris Nemtsov
Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed in a drive-by shooting in Moscow just before midnight on Friday, February 27. Twelve hours after the homicide, little new information has emerged, despite the fact that Nemtsov was shot just minutes from the Kremlin, and the car was filmed by several security cameras. Meduza reviews what is currently known about the murder.
1. Boris Nemtsov’s killers fired at least eight shots, hitting him four times.
According to Russia's Investigative Committee, Boris Nemtsov was shot with a Makarov semi-automatic pistol. Six 9-mm casings were found at the crime scene, some from different manufacturers. It appears the crime was premeditated, the perpetrators were aware of Nemtsov’s whereabouts, and they knew the exact route he would take to his apartment.
2. The murder took place in the center of Moscow, just minutes from the Kremlin.
The scene of the crime, the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, is blanketed with security cameras. The killers fled to Zamoskvorechye neighborhood, which is also full of CCTV cameras. Nevertheless, the perpetrators remain at large, their whereabouts either unknown or not yet released to the press.
3. There was a young woman with Nemtsov. Her current location is unknown.
Boris Nemtsov was not alone when he was killed. The investigators found a young woman at the crime scene. Her name is not being released to the public, but the media reported her to be Anna Duritskaya, a Ukrainian model and Nemtsov's supposed girlfriend. She was found unharmed and was immediately taken in for questioning. It is unknown where she is now or what she said to the police.
4. Police put out a search for the suspects' car.
An APB was issued for a white Ford Focus and Ford Mondeo. Sources claim the car's license plates were identified by police. In the early afternoon, the TV channel REN TV reported the car was found not far from the crime scene. The license plates are allegedly registered in Ingushetia, Russia’s terrorism-ridden North Caucasus.
5. Almost no information about the investigation has been released to the public.
More than 12 hours after the murder, all we know is that investigators questioned a witness, pulled data from CCTV security cameras, and collected documents from Nemtsov’s apartment. According to the Investigative Committee's official spokesperson, Vladimir Markin, all possible motives are being taken into account, though Nemtsov's political activities are not among the primary leads.
6. Figures from across the Russian political spectrum have expressed their condolences.
Boris Nemtsov's political opponents believe his murder to be either a provocation, intended to stir unrest and embarrass the Kremlin, or they say it’s not likely connected to his political activities. Nemtsov's colleagues and supporters, on the other hand, are convinced his murder is linked to his politics. Vladimir Putin, speaking through his spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has said Nemtsov's murder was “100 percent a provocation.”
7. A vigil will be held on March 1.
Moscow authorities have sanctioned a vigil for Boris Nemtsov organized by the opposition. It will start at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. Participants plan to march from Kitay-Gorod in the city's center to the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, where Nemtsov was shot and killed.