Thousands poured into Moscow’s streets Sunday, as a long-planned rally against Russian president Vladimir Putin’s management of the economy has turned into a mourning for one of Russia’s well known opposition leaders. Boris Nemtsov, shot in the back four times in the shadow of the Kremlin on Friday, is one of a list of at least six other Putin critics who have died since Putin’s first term as president in 2000.
Putin has claimed that he has taken the investigation into Nemtsov’s murder “under personal control,” as the crime scene was power washed. Here are the others who have fallen.
Journalist and vocal critic of Putin’s war in Chechnya, Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed inside her apartment in October 2006. In June 2014, Moscow courts sentenced five men to prison terms, including two life sentences, for her murder. However, it still remains unknown who arranged the contract killing, and many feel that justice has never been truly served.
A former agent of Russia’s Federal Security service was poisoned with highly toxic radioactive materials after he became a whistleblower for the Russian government’s secret involvement in terrorism, and publicly accused Putin of ordering the assassination of Politkovskaya.
Two men have been named as prime suspects by the British police, but Russia has refused to extradite them.
The accountant and auditor was imprisoned in November 2008, after exposing a $216m (133bn rubles) tax fraud on the part of the Russian officials. He was found dead in his cell a year later. Authorities said his death was caused by a heart attack, but supporters claimed Magnitsky was beaten to death.
The leading Russian human-rights lawyer had represented Politkovskaya and other anti-Chechen war dissidents. He was shot to death outside the Kremlin in January 2009.
A Russian national extremist was sentenced to life in prison for the killings.
The human rights activist and documentary filmmaker was abducted and executed in July 2009. Both Putin and Chechen warlord president Ramzan Kadyrov have been suggested to be responsible for the attacks.
The popular Russian actor renounced two awards Putin had granted him, claiming he felt shame. “I’ve had enough of all this czar-state stuff,” he wrote in a blog post. Devotchenko was found dead in his apartment in November 2014.