Russian opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov speaks during a rally against the policies and intervention in Ukraine and a possible war in Crimea, on March 15.
Sasha Mordovets—Getty Images
Updated: February 27, 2015 7:25 PM ET | Originally published: February 27, 2015 5:35 PM EST

A leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot and killed in central Moscow on Friday.

Boris Nemtsov, a deputy prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin, was killed by an unidentified attacker, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.

President Barack Obama condemned Nemtsov’s murder in a statement Friday. “I admired Nemtsov’s courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia and appreciated his willingness to share his candid views with me when we met in Moscow in 2009,” he said.

Nemtsov, 55, was a prominent opposition member who was previously considered an economic reformer as governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The opposition has been planning a “Spring” rally on March 1 that aims to draw 100,000 people to the march in Moscow.

Write to Noah Rayman at noah.rayman@time.com.

Read More From TIME

Related Stories

EDIT POST