Sestdienas rītā Krievijas prezidenta administrācija vēstīja, ka Putins personīgi uzņemsies slepkavības lietas pārraudzīšanu. Tiesa, pirms divām nedēļām intervijā Baltkrievijas televīzijai Ņemcovs izteica bažas, ka Putins viņu varētu nogalināt.
"I'm afraid Putin will kill me," he said in the article (in Russian) on 10 February.
Investigators said the murder could have been "a provocation aimed at destabilising the country".
“For more than a year now, the television screens have been flooded with pure hate for us,” [Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky] wrote of the opposition to Mr. Putin. “And now everyone from the blogger at his apartment desk to President Putin himself is searching for enemies, accusing one another of provocation. What is wrong with us?”
“The investigation is considering several versions,” the statements said. The first it listed was: “a murder as a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country, where the figure of Nemtsov could have become a sort of sacrificial victim for those who stop at nothing to achieve their political goals.”
This explanation echoed and elaborated on a statement posted overnight on the Kremlin website, which also characterized the murder as a “provocation.”
“The president noted that this cruel murder has all the signs of a contract killing and carries an exclusively provocative character,” the Kremlin statement said. “Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences to the relatives and loved ones of Boris Nemtsov, who died tragically.”