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Ukrainian Woman With Nemtsov on Fateful Night Is Kept Under Armed Guard

Duratskaya, a 23-year-old Ukrainian model and actress, had reportedly flown to Moscow from Kiev on Friday, and Nemtsov met her at the airport.

Anna Duritskaya, the woman who was walking with Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov when he was killed near the Kremlin on Friday night, is currently the key witness in the case and is being kept at a friend's home under armed guard, her lawyer said Sunday.

Duritskaya, a 23-year-old Ukrainian model and actress, had reportedly flown to Moscow from Kiev on Friday, and Nemtsov met her at the airport. The two had dinner at the upscale Bosco restaurant on Red Square and were walking across a bridge to Nemtsov's apartment on Ulitsa Malaya Ordynka when a white car pulled up beside them and a gunman shot Nemtsov dead, media reports said.

Duritskaya's lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, told the Interfax news agency on Sunday that she is being kept at the home of a friend of Nemtsov and is not being allowed to leave. She is in contact with a Ukrainian consul and says that she would like to go back to Ukraine, her lawyer was cited as saying.

An Investigative Committee spokesperson earlier on Sunday told Interfax that Duritskaya is a "direct witness of the murder," and investigators want to continue to question her.  

However, Duritskaya has not been able to accurately describe the killer or say the make of the car or its license plate number, the Vzglyad news site reported Sunday, citing a source in the investigation. A snowplow driver who was reportedly meters away from the scene of the crime told the LifeNews agency that he didn't see the killer.

Since Duritskaya's name was revealed to the media, countless reports have attempted to expose her identity and background, many of them unflattering.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid cited an undisclosed source as saying that Duritskaya met Nemtsov a few years ago through a "VIP agency that arranges for models to meet Russian businessmen." LifeNews cited Duritskaya's mother as saying her daughter was pregnant and planned to have an abortion.

Contact the author at p.spinella@imedia.ru

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