Is there any semi-logical basis to not strongly suspect that murdered Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed for his strong criticism of Russian president Vladimir Putin? At least six other Putin critics have paid the price over the last eight years. Russian journalist and human-rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of Putin’s war in Chechnya, was shot and killed in her apartment in October 2006. Russian intelligence operative Alexander Litvinenko died from radiation poisoning a month later after claiming that Putin ordered Politkovskaya’s death. Accountant and auditor Sergei Magnitsky was imprisoned in November 2008 after exposing massive corruption, and was found dead in his cell a year later. Russian human-rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who had represented Politkovskaya and other anti-Chechen-War dissidents, was shot to death outside the Kremlin on 1.19.09. Human-rights activist and documentary filmmaker Natalya Estemirova was abducted and shot to death in July 2009. After renouncing two awards he had “received from Putin’s hands” because he was “ashamed,” Russian actor Alexei Devotchenko was found dead in his apartment last November, apparently under suspicious circumstances. Who’s next on the hit list? Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev?

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