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Today marks seven years since Boris Nemtsov, the former Russian Deputy Prime Minister, anti-corruption activist and physicist, was assassinated just blocks from the Kremlin.  Through his time in public service and by his civic activism, Nemtsov sought to make his country a better place by exposing corruption and advocating for political and economic reforms, for which he paid the ultimate price.  Among Nemtsov’s final projects before he was killed in 2015 was a report exposing Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin had denied.  Though police ransacked Nemtsov’s apartment and confiscated his writings after his murder, they could not erase his legacy.  We glimpse Boris Nemtsov’s spirit in the courageous citizens of Russia who have publicly condemned the Kremlin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, including petitions signed by hundreds of journalists and municipal leaders condemning the invasion and the thousands of peaceful anti-war protestors detained by Russian authorities in recent days.  As the Kremlin attempts to spread disinformation and suppress dissent, we deeply respect those in Russia who follow Boris Nemtsov’s example and bravely speak up for what is right.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future