Boris Y. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister of Russia and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, was shot to death today in Moscow.

According to Russian-language news website Meduza and Interfax, Nemtsov was shot four times in the back as he walked near the Kremlin with a woman. His assailants reportedly fled the scene in the white car.

From the BBC:

Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under the late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

He had earned a reputation as an economic reformer while governor of one of Russia's biggest cities, Nizhny Novgorod.

Falling out of favour with Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin, Mr Nemtsov became an outspoken opposition politician.

In 2013, CNN reports, Nemtsov called the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi one of the most "outrageous swindles" in modern Russian history and claimed that some $30 billion of the games' total cost had been embezzled.

BuzzFeed reports that just last week Nemtsov told a Russian magazine, "I'm scared that Putin will kill me."

[Image via AP]

Contact the author at