Just a day before a planned protest against President Vladimir Putin's rule, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed in Moscow.
The former deputy prime minister was a sharp critic of Putin, assailing the government's inefficiency, rampant corruption and the Kremlin's policy on Ukraine, which has strained Russia-West ties to a degree unseen since Cold War times. The Kremlin said that Putin will personally oversee the investigation.
With files from AP
Charles Maynes, radio producer and multimedia journalist based in Moscow, @cwmiii3
Nina Tumarkin, Russian Historian and Professor of History at Wellesley College; author of "The Living and the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia" and "Lenin Lives! The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia"