Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the murder of Russian opposition leader and human rights activist Boris Nemtsov:
“I was devastated to learn of the murder in Moscow today of my friend Boris Nemtsov. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends in Russia and around the world. With his death, the struggle for free speech and human rights in Russia has suffered another devastating blow.
“That Boris's murder occurred in a secure part of the Russian capital raises legitimate questions about the circumstances of his killing and who was responsible. But regardless of who actually pulled the trigger, Boris is dead because of the environment of impunity that Vladimir Putin has created in Russia, where individuals are routinely persecuted and attacked for their beliefs, including by the Russian government, and no one is ever held responsible.
“I had long been concerned about Boris's safety, and said so publicly. I will never forget the last meeting we had. I begged him to be careful, and Boris told me that he would never give up the fight for freedom, human rights, and rule of law for his fellow Russians, even if it cost him his life. I am heartbroken that it has come to that. There must be a full investigation of Boris's murder, and those responsible must be held accountable. The world will be watching.”