The murdered Russian opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, was widely known for his tough stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule. As a West-orientated free-market reformer in post-Soviet Union Russia, he has played an active role in Russian politics since the 1990s. Nemtsov was appointed Russian deputy prime minister, responsible for reforming the energy sector in 1997 under Boris Yeltsin presidency. After his forced resignation from his position in 1998, he became one of the co-founders of the Union of Rightist forces, a new liberal-democratic coalition.
Since President Putin came to power in 2000, Nemtsov has taken part in various opposition rallies. He was sentenced to 15 days in prison in 2011 after participating in the New Year's Eve opposition rally.
He was also a powerful critic of not only the Moscow government under Putin's rule but also Russian foreign policy over Ukraine since the tension flared up in Ukraine in 2004 with the Orange Revolution. He was an economic advisor to the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko while opposing Russian intervention in Ukraine. His open support for the Ukrainian government against his own country generated much criticism from President Putin and his supporters.
He then co-founded the anti-Putin movement "Solidarity" with the aim of uniting various opposition movements. In September 2010, Nemtsov founded another opposition party called the "For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption" party, which, later was transformed into the People's Freedom Party. Participating in organized opposition rallies, he explicitly voiced his anger over the Russian government's economic and foreign policies.
Considering his anti-Kremlin stance throughout his political life, he was a prominent political opposition figure. However, his stance led him to make a lot of enemies along the way.