Murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko’s widow says Boris Nemtsov’s shooting was the Russian government’s way of saying anyone who spoke out against Vladimir Putin would be killed.
Marina Litvinenko described news of the veteran liberal politician’s shooting as “absolutely devastating”.
She was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme whether she believed the shooting of Mr Nemtsov near the Kremlin in Moscow was linked to her husband’s poisoning.
She replied: “It’s a different way to kill a person, but a way to present that anybody who will try to say something against us will be killed.”
Nemtsov was a leading critic of president Putin and the war in Ukraine.
He is said to have been hit by four bullets from a passing car as he walked on a bridge, hours after urging Russians to attend a protest rally and march against the “mad, aggressive and deadly policy of war against Ukraine”.
When asked what effect the high-profile death would have on democracy in the country, Litvinenko said former deputy prime minister Nemtsov and other people had started to be described as “enemies of Russia”.
“Particularly after the war with Ukraine, the atmosphere in Russia is very aggressive. When you see images saying he is an enemy of Russia, Russian people will hate him,” she said.
Litvinenko agreed with Nemtsov’s long-time friend, Vladimir Riskov, who said Putin was politically responsible.
“All what happened in Russia, it’s the responsibility of this government and Mr Putin, he built this country that became the centre of huge conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and a big problem with all the west, and it’s the full responsibility of this person and his government,” she said.
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