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Two US Congressmen Want Justice in Death of Nemtsov

People gather in St. Petersburg, Russia, to commemorate the 2015 slaying of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Feb. 27, 2016.

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for an investigation into the 2015 assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Representative Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, have introduced a resolution urging the U.S. government to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring Nemtsov's murderers to justice.

"The circumstances surrounding Boris' murder are highly questionable but have yet to receive a proper investigation," said Ros-Lehtinen. "Boris' murder deserves a full and transparent investigation and I urge the administration to do everything it can to press the Putin regime."

The February 2015 killing of such a high-profile government critic in an area near the Kremlin continues to reverberate throughout Russia. Members of the opposition have pointed blame at the government, with suspicions high that Nemtsov's murder was ordered as retaliation for his fierce criticism of Putin.

In addition to the plea to find Nemtsov's killers, Engel said the resolution calls for "an increase in American support for democratic and civil-society groups inside Russia - groups that have been under increasingly vicious attack by authorities."

Russia has detained five suspects in the murder of Nemtsov. Allies of Nemtsov expressed skepticism after the arrests, believing it is difficult to determine whether suspects are the real perpetrators. Allies believe it is equally important to find and detain those who ordered the killing.

The Kremlin has denied involvement in Nemtsov's murder. President Putin labeled the killing "a provocation" and vowed the government would do everything to ensure those responsible are "properly punished."