Boris Nemtsov: Murdered Putin rival ‘tailed’ by agent linked to FSB hit squad

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shadowed by an agent linked to a political assassination team for almost a year before he was shot dead, an investigation has found.

Nemtsov was a fierce adversary of President Vladimir Putin. His murder in 2015 is the highest-profile political killing since Putin came to power. Bellingcat, The Insider and the BBC found evidence that Nemtsov was shadowed on 13 trips before his murder.

Boris Nemtsov rose to prominence in the 1990s, served as deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, and was widely tipped to be Yeltsin’s successor. Instead, Mr Putin came to power and Mr Nemtsov was pushed to the margins of Russian politics.

He became an effective campaigner, exposing corruption and denouncing Russia’s 2014 attack on eastern Ukraine. On 27 February 2015, Mr Nemtsov was shot dead, just yards from the Kremlin, and just days before he was due to lead a protest against the war.

Five men of Chechen origin were quickly arrested and later jailed for his murder. But the official investigation left the most urgent questions unanswered: who ordered the killing and why?

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