Prominent Putin critic poisoned with unknown substance, say doctors

For several years now, Kara-Murza, his wife and three young children have been living in the United States. But he frequently travels back to Russia to meet with opposition activists and other organizers. For the past few weeks, Kara-Murza had been traveling in his homeland to help launch a new documentary film about the life and death of scientist and opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. Nemtsov served as Russia’s deputy prime minister for a few months in 1998, under Russian President Boris Yeltsin. After 2000, he became a vocal critic of the Putin administration. In late February 2015, Nemtsov was shot four times in the back and killed while walking with his girlfriend near Moscow’s Red Square. Opposition groups, including members of the Open Russia Foundation, claim that his murder was organized by the Kremlin. Continue reading

Banker shot SIX times in London assassination attempt could help solve Russian murder

A RUSSIAN banker who survived being shot six times in an assassination attempt in London could help police solve the murder of a political leader in his home country.

German Gorbuntsov has been living under 24-hour armed guard in the UK since the shooting outside his apartment in Canary Wharf in 2012.

But now police in Moscow believe the 49-year-old businessman could help them solve the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a strong critic of President Vladimir Putin, who was killed in February.

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Russia under Vladimir Putin ‘like Nazi Germany or Rwanda’, warns daughter of Boris Nemtsov

The daughter of murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has compared the Russian state under Vladimir Putin to “Nazi Germany or Rwanda” and announced she has left the country for the West.

Zhanna Nemtsova, a TV journalist with a Moscow news station, said she had quit her job to go into exile after the fatal shooting of her father outside the walls of the Kremlin in February.

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Vladimir Putin has up to 10,000 troops in Ukraine, Russian opposition claims

Russia has 8000 to 10,000 soldiers in eastern Ukraine and has spent more than 53 billion roubles ($1.3 billion) supplying separatist rebels, according to a report compiled by Russian opposition activists.

The report, titled “Putin. War.”, was the last project of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, who used open source information and interviews with families to paint a picture contradicting Moscow’s argument that no serving Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine. Continue reading

Edward Snowden Is Acting Very Strange Inside Russia

Russian spy-watcher Andrei Soldatov on Snowden’s strange behavior in Russia, the Nemtsov assassination, and signs of a power struggle in Putin’s inner circle.

Andrei Soldatov’s beat is Russian spies, which is a hot topic for a new cold war. As editor of agentura.ru, an online “watchdog” of Putin’s clandestine intelligence agencies, he has spent the last decade reporting on and anatomizing the resurrection of the Russian security state, from KGB-style crackdowns on dissent at home to adroit or haphazard assassinations abroad.

Most recently, Soldatov and his coauthor and collaborator Irina Borogan broke serious news about the extent to which the Federal Security Service (FSB) was surveilling and eavesdropping on everyone within slaloming distance of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Soldatov has just emerged from a writerly purdah, which has seen him complete his latest and forthcoming title with Borogan, Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries. He spoke to me via Skype from Moscow recently about the latest Russian hack of the White House, the Boris Nemtsov assassination, the Boston Marathon bombings, reshuffles in Putinist spyland, and why neither Edward Snowden nor Glenn Greenwald will agree to be interviewed by him.

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Boris Nemtsov: ‘I’m afraid Putin will kill me,’ politician said weeks before being shot dead

The Russian opposition politician shot dead in Moscow had spoken of his fear that Vladimir Putin would have him killed weeks before his murder.

Speaking to Russia’s Sobesednik news website on 10 February, Boris Nemtsov said: “I’m afraid Putin will kill me. I believe that he was the one who unleashed the war in the Ukraine. I couldn’t dislike him more.”

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