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  • Last Friday, outspoken Putin critic and former deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov, was

  • gunned down in front of the Kremlin, two days before an anti-Putin rally he had organized.

  • The Russian President called for an end to high profile political killings. Still, the

  • shooting follows a disturbing pattern of Putin critics ending up dead or imprisoned. So who

  • are Putin’s top enemies, and what happens to them?

  • One of Putin’s earliest enemies, Vladimir Gusinsky, was the founder of NTV, a Russian

  • television network outspoken about the government. In 2001, shortly after Putin’s ascension

  • to the presidency, the government owned natural gas company, Gaz-prom, seized control of the

  • network. Gusinsky was charged with fraud and fled to Spain while NTV was converted to a

  • pro-Kremlin network. Soon after, another television mogul and Putin critic, Boris Berezovsky,

  • also fled the country to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom. After two separate

  • assassination attempts, Berezovsky was found dead in his apartment in 2013. A few years

  • earlier, a former security official and close friend of Berezovsky’s, Alexander Litvinenko,

  • also died after being poisoned with plutonium. On his deathbed, he accused Putin of orchestrating

  • the poisoning. For more on Litvinenko, see our timeline about his death.

  • A fourth oligarch and critic, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was the richest man in Russia when he debated

  • Putin on television in 2003, and insinuated that Russian officials were receiving millions

  • in bribes. Soon afterwards, Khodorkovsky was arrested for fraud and tax evasion, along

  • with his business partner, Platon Lebedev. Both were sentenced to nearly a decade in

  • prison.

  • Many vocal anti-Putin protesters have been jailed for their roles in stirring dissent.

  • Two out of three members of the political anti-establishment band, Pussy Riot, served

  • two-year sentences after an anti-Putin performance in an Orthodox cathedral.

  • In 2012, countrywide protests broke out against voter fraud, media censorship, and the taking

  • of political prisoners. Two protest organizers, were accused of terrorism and conspiracy.

  • They were sentenced to 4 and a half years of hard labor..

  • Perhaps the most disturbing trend is a string of poorly investigated murders of Russian

  • journalists. The most famous of which is the assassination of a vocal anti-Putin author

  • and journalist Anna Politkovskaya. In the aftermath of her death, the US House of Representatives

  • passed a resolution urging Putin to accept outside help in investigating 14 unsolved

  • murders of journalists since the start of his presidency.

  • Although the Russian constitution provides for freedom of press and speech, most media

  • is expected to self-censor and the US State Department, has reported that in recent years

  • the Kremlin has increased its crackdown on political dissent.

  • For more on Russia’s influence in the world, check out our video about how powerful they

  • really are. Or this other one about their recent buildup of sneaky military activity

  • in neighboring countries. If youre watching on your phone, click the links at the top

  • of the description to watch! Thanks for watching TestTube, and please subscribe for more!

Last Friday, outspoken Putin critic and former deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov, was

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