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Girlfriend Of Slain Russian Opposition Leader Says She Didn't See His Killer

Boris Nemtsov, one of the loudest critics of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead just outside the Kremlin on Friday.

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Updated on

What We Know So Far

  • Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and noted critic of the Putin administration, was fatally shot in central Moscow on Friday.
  • Vladimir Putin has promised to bring his killers to justice by personally overseeing the investigation.
  • Western leaders have decried Nemtsov's murder.

Updates

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Nemtsov's girlfriend, who was with him the night he was killed, said Monday that she did not see anything suspicious and did not see the killer.

Anna Duritskaya, a model from Ukraine, was visibly upset during an interview with Russian media outlet Dozhd, Reuters reported. She said that she did not wish to speak about what happened.

"I am in a very difficult psychological condition and I cannot talk about this any more now," she said. "I feel bad ... I saw no one. I don't know where he came from, he was behind my back."

Duritskaya was walking with Nemtsov on a bridge when he was shot by a gunman who then escaped in a light-colored vehicle.

"I turned around and all I saw was a light-colored car," she said according to the Associated Press. "I saw neither the brand nor the license plate of the car when it was driving away."

Duritskaya has been under police protection and has been barred from leaving the country by Russian officials. She said that all she wants is to go home to her mother in Ukraine.

"I have every right to leave the territory of the Russian Federation," she said according to Reuters. "I am not a suspect. I am a witness who gave full testimony and did everything possible to assist the investigation."

Duritskaya spoke out as questions began to swirl about whether the shooting could have been captured on surveillance video.

A Russian newspaper reported that sources in the country's Interior Ministry said there was no video of the incident because the cameras weren't working, the AP reported.

However, a spokeswoman for Moscow's information technology department told the AP that the cameras were operating properly. She said that she could not confirm the incident was captured on video because of the ongoing investigation.

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French President François Hollande is among the Western leaders who have condemned the "odious assassination" of Nemtsov.

Le président @fhollande dénonce l'odieux assassinat de Boris Nemtsov, défenseur de la démocratie, cette nuit à Moscou

The French leader described Nemtsov as a "brave and tireless defender of democracy and a fierce fighter against corruption."

British Prime Minister David Cameron also added his name to the chorus of condemnation, releasing the following statement:

I am shocked and sickened by the callous murder of Boris Nemtsov as he walked in the heart of Moscow last night. This despicable act must be fully, rapidly and transparently investigated, and those responsible brought to justice.

Boris Nemtsov was a man of courage and conviction. His life was dedicated to speaking up tirelessly for the Russian people, to demanding their right to democracy and liberty under the rule of law, and to an end to corruption. He did so without fear, and never gave in to intimidation. He was greatly admired in Britain, not least by his friend Lady Thatcher, who visited him in Russia and who would have been appalled by today's news. The courage of Nemtsov's life contrasts with the utter cowardice of his murder.

I extend my condolences to Boris Nemtsov's family and friends. The Russian people have been deprived of a champion of their rights. Boris Nemtsov is dead. But the values he stood for will never die.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday promised to do everything to punish those behind the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot to death in central Moscow on Friday.

In a telegram shared on the website of the Russian president, Putin sent his condolences to Nemtsov's mother.

"Please accept my deepest condolences on the irreparable loss. I sincerely share the grief has befallen you," Putin said.

"Boris Nemtsov left his mark on the history of Russia, in politics and public life. He dropped out to work on important positions in the difficult transition period for our country. He always openly and honestly stated his position, defended his point of view.

"We will do everything to make sure the organizers and executors of this vile and cynical murder are punished," he said.