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On the assassination of a Russian opposition figure
On the assassination of a Russian opposition figure
A week ago, Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov was killed in the very heart of Moscow behind the Kremlin’s walls on the eve of an opposition march. The reaction came immediately as a tsunami wave from both sides of political establishment; Russia and from abroad. Social media platforms were boiling up, and it seemed as though no official investigation, facts or elementary logic was needed. Bloggers drew conclusions and found the culprits reasoning from their political convictions and affiliations. Expectedly, the majority pointed their fingers at Putin. The Western media in ignorantly proclaimed Nemtsov as the key opponent to Putin and his main rival, as if he had as huge electoral support as Putin does.
Nemtsov’s rise came during the most dramatic period of Russia’s modern history — the 1990s, when the country was in complete devastation, chaos, increasingly criminal and highly unstable. During his political career, he was a governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, an effective governor with great potential for creativity and innovation. Citizens of the city are still thankful to him today. Nemtsovhad been elected several times for the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament, backed by liberal forces. Furthermore, he was also appointed as the first deputy prime minister, and after the dissolution of one government, he was reappointed for another one in the status of deputy prime minister for a short period of time, until the next government dissolution during the last years of the rule of Boris Yeltsin. He was even expected to become Yeltsin’s successor, but the choice fell on the candidature of Vladimir Putin. Although Nemtsov was a member of parliament and duma deputy speaker, his party failed in the Parliamentary elections and he found himself out of politics.
Typical Russian liberal
In his last years, Nemtsov was a typical Russian liberal opposition figure with a loud mouth, dramatic disclosures of the governing regime with little impact on public opinion, fighting for freedom and human rights for Russian citizens and had a strong friendship with the American embassy in Moscow. Most of his initiatives had a strong start because of his fearless attitude and eloquence skills but came to naught due to planning failures.
He posed no threat to the governing regime. His criticism was harmless and sometimes even useful. The reports he published (with little reliable proof in case of disclosures) could hardly make anyone tremble in the government.
Russia has great problems in the international arena and U.S.-Russia
relations have reached the lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet
Union. The sanctions imposed on Russia due to its foreign policy and
ambitions have led to great pressure on its economy. The «blame
Russia» campaign is still on the rise, generously fuelled
by Western media. To assume that having over major electorate
support, it was Putin who ordered the killing of his fading, harmless
criticizer on the eve of the peaceful opposition march
is to take Putin for an idiot.
It comes as no surprise that the tragedy was followed
by some political maneuvers and declarations by Western leaders. For
example, during the hearing in Congress on Wednesday, the
The nonsensical death of Boris Nemtsov is a tragedy for the whole of Russia’s political establishment, opposition and society. By its impudence, the place and the time chosen, made it one of the loudest assassinations of the last 10 year and much like a terrorist act. It’s a shocking event that can hardly leave anyone indifferent. For 25 years, Nemtsov was an integral part of the Russian political landscape, however in the consciousness of most of the Russians, he remained a 1990s era associate of Boris Yeltsin.
Most of the Russian society at least mistrust those who are friends with the U.S. embassy and American politicians — a phenomenon that comes from history and resides already deep in Russia’s mentality. As controversial as he was, Nemtsov was a bright figure, but the same controversy prevented him from becoming a strong leader able to unite considerable masses.
Who is to blame for the murder of Boris Nemtsov? Contract
killings are very hard to decipher. Nevertheless, the results of the
official investigation are needed and should be waited for. For the
government it’s a matter of principle to find those who
killed him, especially experiencing the incredible external pressure.
It should be said that the responsibility for creating the atmosphere
and preconditions for this barbaric act is of many forces and
figures. The atmosphere of hatred was created by some opposition
wings who contemptuously humbled and humiliated those who support the
president. The atmosphere of hatred was created by the
The killing of Boris Nemtsov is harmful both for the government
and the opposition. The shots in the back of Netmsov are shots
in the back of Russian society, regardless of political views.
Anatoly Chubais, Nemtsov’s close friend, was right in saying
«Everyone. It is time to stop and to think for
a moment about where we’re bringing Russia.»
Maria Dubovikova is a
«Говорят эксперты МГИМО», может не совпадать с мнением редакции портала.