The U.S. State Department issued a statement honoring the eighth anniversary of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov in Red Square in downtown Moscow, saying the Jewish Russian politician “devoted his life to improving the lives of his fellow citizens.” Nemtsov was killed on Feb. 27, 2015.

Boris Nemtsov. Credit: Dhārmikatva via Wikimedia Commons.

“Nemtsov was a former deputy prime minister of Russia, a political activist and a reformer,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price. “He was fearless and outspoken, and his civic commitment has continued to be an inspiration for other pro-democracy politicians and human rights defenders.”

The 55-year-old critic of Vladimir Putin was shot four times, including one that entered his heart, according to reports, which added that the attack was “a murder that bore all the hallmarks of a contract killing.”

“I never made it a secret that my mother is Jewish because I love my mother,” Nemtsov once said. “I’m much indebted to my mother. She has also drawn me into politics, though now she is not happy about this.”

Although he identified as Russian Orthodox, the Russian public considered him Jewish. (So would many Jews.)

In addition to paying homage to Nemtsov on Monday, Foggy Bottom recognized “those brave Russians who continue to work in the face of severe repression for a better future for their country.”


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