At 2331L on 27 February 2015, Boris Nemtsov was shot several times in the back crossing the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, close to the Kremlin walls and Red Square. Nemtsov served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia under President Boris Yeltsin and was one of the most severe critics of Vladimir Putin. He was killed while organizing protests in Moscow against the 2014 Donbass and Crimea War. He was assassinated with his Ukrainian partner, Anna Durytska.
One of his daughters, Zhanna Nemtsova, became an outspoken critic of the Putin government after her father’s assassination and had to emigrate from Russia in June, 2015 after various death threats. She has worked in the Russian Department for Deutsche Welle (DW) since August 2015 and founded the Boris Nemtsov Foundation “For Freedom”.
According to Radio Free Europe, the Polish Internal Security Agency gathered evidence that a Russian-borne journalist, and likely GRU plant, gained access to Nemtsova in 2016 and provided details of her movements, finances, and other personal information for several years. The GRU plant, Pablo Gonzalez, was arrested on February 28th, 2022 in the Polish city of Przemysl after being asked to leave Ukraine by the Zelensky government on the day of the Russian invasion.
According to Radio Free Europe and Agents Media:
“The reports usually consisted of three parts: a description of the contacts made, an estimate of financial expenses, and a story about plans for the future. Initial reports included questions to likely handlers whom Gonzalez had asked for help in solving problems. Later, the questions disappeared, and the description of what was happening with the “journalist” became more detailed. Gonzalez wrote how he passed this or that border, noticed or did not notice surveillance. In one of the reports, he described the experience of interrogation while crossing the Ukrainian border.”
Gonzales was born in the Soviet Union to a Spanish mother and a Russian father. He worked as a journalist since 2014, covering the Donbass War for several Spanish publications. The Polish government has not commented on the arrest, but he is still reportedly in custody.