The daughter of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov blames Russian President Vladimir Putin “politically” for her father’s murder in late February and doesn’t believe Russian authorities are interested in a legitimate investigation.
Nemtsov’s murder was politically motivated, said Zhanna Nemtsov, who is a presenter on a financial news channel in Moscow. It has dealt a huge blow to the opposition movement and frightened many other Kremlin critics, she said.
“They are not interested in their independent investigation,” she said in an interview with BBC. “They have never contacted me… they have never called me up to the moment, I don’t have any access to their documents related to their investigation,” adding that “[Nemtsov] was a critic of Putin, he fought with Putin, nobody else.”
Zhanna Nemtsov joins a number of her father’s political allies and friends in questioning the official investigation into the murder, which has brought forth a handful of ethnic Chechens as the prime suspects. Zaur Dadayev, one of two who was formally charged with Nemtsov’s murder this week, confessed to his involvement shortly after being arrested. But on Wednesday he said he did so after being tortured for two hours and threatened by investigators, who said they would kill him in a grenade blast if he didn’t confess. Russian media claims one other suspect, Bislan Shavanov, blew himself up with a grenade at his home after it was surrounded by Russian police, although that claim has not been independently verified.
“At the time of the arrest, I was with a friend, my former subordinate Ruslan Yusupov, and they said that if I confessed, he would be freed,” said Dadayev in court, according to the Daily Mail. “Otherwise the same thing would happen to me as to Shavanov.”
Photos emerged on Wednesday purportedly showing Dadayev and an accomplice riding in a car that appears to be the getaway vehicle seen on security footage that captured the murder.
Putin publicly condemned Nemtsov’s murder and vowed to find the killers, who conducted the assassination on a bridge within view of the Kremlin. Some in Russia speculate that Nemtsov was killed by the Muslim Chechens, who wanted him dead for speaking out against the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, but others refute that notion, calling it an attempt to draw attention away from the government’s possible role. Many critics of the government say that Putin's government has fomented a nationalistic hatred of the opposition within its constituency as a way to keep the opposition down, leading to violent attacks and some deaths.