Nemtsov Killing Puts Human Rights in Spotlight of U.S.-Russia Tensions

Mourners pay their respects at the place where Boris Nemtsov was murdered near the Kremlin, with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background, Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2015 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).
Mourners pay their respects at the place where Boris Nemtsov was murdered near the Kremlin, with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background, Moscow, Russia, March 2, 2015 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

The assassination last week of Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition political leader, in downtown Moscow, just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin, presents a challenge for Washington. The current tensions in U.S.-Russia relations over crises ranging from Ukraine to Syria make a successful engagement with Moscow on human rights even more unlikely. Yet the U.S. must somehow find ways to support the democratic vision for Russia advocated by Nemstov and other political and civil society activists. Nemstov’s murder is in some ways reminiscent of 1990s-era Russia under then-President Boris Yeltsin. At the time, law and […]

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