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 Killing of Boris Nemtsov a sign of worsening climate in Russia - Obama

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Killing of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a sign of worsening situation in Russia where media freedoms and civil rights have suffered much in the last several years.

This was stated by the U.S. President Barack Obama in his interview to Reuters, Censor.NET informs.

"This is an indication of a climate at least inside of Russia in which civil society, independent journalists, people trying to communicate on the Internet, have felt increasingly threatened, constrained. And increasingly the only information that the Russian public is able to get is through state-controlled media outlets," Obama said.

The U.S. president has called for a full investigation into the slaying of Nemtsov, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, and a former deputy prime minister.

"I have no idea at this point exactly what happened. What I do know is more broadly the fact that freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of information, basic civil rights and civil liberties inside of Russia are in much worse shape now than they were four or five, ten years ago," Obama said.

Read more: "Putin ordered Nemtsov's murder because of his report about Russian invasion into Ukraine" - Nemtsov's cousin

The U.S. president said the killing is "part of what has allowed I think Russia to engage in the sort of aggression that it has against Ukraine."

Obama met Nemtsov met during a trip in 2009 to Moscow, where the U.S. president held talks with opposition parties.

Nemtsov, 55, was one of the leading lights of a divided opposition struggling to revive its fortunes. Russian authorities have suggested the opposition itself may have been behind his shooting in an attempt to create a martyr and unite the fractured movement. Nemtsov's supporters have blamed the authorities for his killing.

As reported, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead late evening of Feb. 27 at the Bolshoi Moskvoretskiy bridge near the Kremlin. Russia's Investigative committee has several versions of the politician's killing, including political and domestic reasons. His funeral took place on March 3.

 
 
 
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