Russia’s Finance Ministry says that the car being sought in connection with the murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov belonged to a “in-house security service” for the ministry, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Nemtsov was shot dead last week in the highest-profile murder during Putin’s 15-year reign.
Because of his status as an opposition leader and former deputy prime minister, many supporters believe that President Vladimir Putin is to blame for Nemtsov’s death. He was also attacked “200 [meters] from the Kremlin walls,” according to one reporter in Moscow.
While the car in question, which reportedly fled the scene of Nemtsov’s murder, didn’t belong to the Finance Ministry directly, the connection to a contractor for the state body raises fresh questions about Kremlin involvement.
The ministry’s press office told TASS: “The Ford car we are talking about does not belong to the Finance Ministry. This is a vehicle of an in-house security service, an independent FSUE providing services to the Finance Ministry, Goznak and other bodies.”
Police are investigating Nemtsov’s murder. Russian security services claim they have identified several suspects.
Nemtsov served as a deputy prime minister and a regional governor in Russia in the 1990s, when he helped put free-market reforms in place. Ukraine’s president believes Nemtsov was murdered because he had evidence that Russia armed forces in Ukraine.
The fact that Nemtsov was gunned down right outside the Kremlin and state officials are admitting a connection to the car that fled the scene of the murder is being interpreted by Putin’s critics that no one is safe.
Putin’s press spokesperson, however, has denied that the Kremlin was involved in Nemtsov’s death.
The Russian government has even offered a reward of $US50,000 for information leading to the conviction of the killer of Nemtsov. However, Russia might have actually captured the shooting on tape — Nemtsov was killed in front of the Kremlin’s own security cameras.
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