If there are more opposition protests around the country, a violent crackdown by the Kremlin, or its supporters, against dissenters would likely follow. Some opposition leaders may choose to flee the country, instead of waiting to be the next target of whoever killed Nemtsov.
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And more sanctions by Western governments will follow, if the Russian administration appears to be clamping down on protests. It comes as chances of a diplomatic solution to the contretemps over Ukraine look to be fading.
"This appears to be not only a more unpredictable, but also a very different Russia than had appeared to be the case a year or so ago, less of a partner and more of a real adversary," Tim Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank, wrote in a research note.
Despite the turmoil, and evidence that the Ukrainian conflict is far from over, there appears to be more interest in investing in Russia after a disastrous 2014.
The ruble is the year's best-performing currency to date and Russia's dollar-denominated stock markets have also been the best-performing among major markets since the start of 2015. This is partly reflective of the small oil price rally, and the low base from which they started.