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Survey suggests Russians showed little interest in Nemtsov murder case

Boris Nemtsov was gunned down in downtown Moscow on February 27, 2015

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russians showed little interest in following the murder case of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, according to a survey by Russia’s VTsIOM pollster.

According to the results of the poll, obtained by TASS, the vast majority of respondents (88%) said they were informed about the politician and his biography. The figure stood at 97% among respondents aged 60 and older, but only at 47% among young people aged between 18 and 24.

Only 35% of those who answered positively to the question of whether they were informed about Nemtsov’s life, career and death, said they followed the trial of those suspected of his murder.

"Of them, 42% gave the positive answer to the question of whether Zaur Dadayev was guilty, 19% answered negatively and 39% could not come up with a definite answer," the VTsIOM survey reads.

At the same time, "81% of respondents, who heard of Nemtsov, had no answer to the question of who was the organizer and who masterminded this crime."

According to VTsIOM chief Valery Fyodorov, "huge public attention, generated by the murder of a bright politician from the era of (former Russian president Boris) Yeltsin, was quickly replaced by apathy and loss of interest to investigation of this strange case."

"Zaur Dadayev’s guilt causes little doubt in Russians, but motives and masterminds behind the most high-profile murder of recent years remain unclear to our society," he said.

The phone interview was conducted on July 20-22, 2017, among Russians aged 18 and older. The margin of error is estimated below 2.5%

Nemtsov’s murder

Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister under then-President Boris Yeltsin, co-chairman of the Parnas party and lawmaker of the Yaroslavl regional legislature, was gunned down in downtown Moscow on February 27, 2015. Five men were arrested on suspicion of murdering the politician: Zaur Dadayev, Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev. Another suspect, Beslan Shavanov, put up resistance to police and blew himself up.

On July 13, Moscow’s District Military Court found all five of the defendants guilty and handed them 11-to 20-year sentences in a maximum-security penal colony. The decision was made by Judge Yury Zhitnikov based on the jury’s guilty verdict.

According to investigators, Ruslan Mukhudinov, a former officer of the Chechen Sever (or North) batallion, is the mastermind and organizer of the murder. Mukhudinov was charged in absentia. He has been on the international wanted list since November 2015. A criminal case against him is investigated separately.