Security cameras in the area near the Kremlin where Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot multiple times and killed Friday night were turned off for "repair work," a local newspaper reported. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot in central Moscow on a bridge near Red Square. But multiple cameras on the bridge that could have recorded the event and helped to identify the killer or provide other information may have been turned off, a claim that has been disputed by officials.
ABC News reported it had counted at least 18 visible security cameras in the area where Nemtsov was killed. Some of those cameras belonged to the Moscow City Council, which denied the cameras were switched off, ABC News said. If the cameras did capture footage, the council would not reveal whether it showed Nemtsov's death.
A spokeswoman for the Russian Federal Guard Service, which owns some of the other cameras in the vicinity, told ABC News none of the cameras had caught Nemtsov's killing. The only footage so far that has purportedly showed the actual shooting was from a distant camera, and a snowplow allegedly blocked the view of the shooting itself. The area has been described as one of the most secure and closely monitored in Moscow.
Unnamed sources in the Interior Ministry told the Russian business newspaper Kommersant the cameras were not working, so there was no closed-circuit television footage, but a spokeswoman for the city's information technology department disputed that claim. She would not, however, confirm the existence of any video showing the killing, the AP reported.
Nemtsov was shot in the back four times, according to a Russian investigative committee. No suspects have been arrested in the days since the shooting, and the Ukrainian woman he was with at the time of his killing has said she did not see who killed him. Prior to his death, Nemtsov had been organizing an upcoming rally in protest of the war in Ukraine.