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Prominent Putin critic shot dead in Moscow

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    FILE - In this file photo taken on Saturday, March 15, 2014, Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister and opposition leader addresses demonstrators during a massive rally to oppose president Vladimir Putin's policies in Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia. Russian police say opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has been shot and killed in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
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MOSCOW >> Russia’s Interior Ministry says Boris Nemtsov, a leading opposition figure and former deputy prime minister, has been shot and killed near the Kremlin.

Nemtsov, a sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was killed early Saturday. His death comes just a day before a major opposition rally in Moscow.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees Russia’s police force, said that Nemtsov was shot four times from a passing car as he was walking a bridge just outside the Kremlin.

Nemtsov served a deputy prime minister in the 1990s and later became a prominent opponent to Putin, helping organize street protests and exposing official corruption.

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