Slain Kremlin critic Nemtsov thought fame offered protection

Slain Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov knew criticizing the Kremlin was dangerous, but thought his fame would protect him.

The 55-year-old was walking home from dinner with his girlfriend Anna Duritskaya when he was gunned down in Moscow on Friday.

Nemtsov had been arrested several times for speaking against Putin’s government. The most recent arrests were in 2011 when he protested the results of parliamentary elections and in 2012 when tens of thousands protested against Putin.

Many people preferred to be able make money and not speak out, he said.

“This is a country of corruption,” Nemtsov said. “For Putin’s Russia, this is a system. This is not a problem.”

“If you are corrupted, but you are loyal, and you serve the Kremlin, you are first of all rich and secondly you are in a very safe position.”