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PostOpposition Leader Boris Nemtsov Assassinated (Boris Volodarsky, Austria, 02/28/15 4:28 am)
Last night one of the leading opposition figures, Boris Nemtsov, was ruthlessly murdered in Moscow. It seems there's the same mastermind behind this murder, as behind those of Anna Politkovskaya, Sasha Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky.
Nemtsov could seriously have become the Russian president after the collapse of the Putin regime. Here's the outcome. I wonder who is next?
JE comments: A shocking event. I hope we'll have more details on this breaking story throughout the day. According to news sources, just three weeks ago Nemtsov expressed his fear that Putin would have him killed.
Nemtsov was one of the leaders of the liberal democratic opposition, and as I understand it he was closely allied with the US. He had come up a dozen or more times on WAIS. See, for example, this 2011 post from Alain de Benoist:
Boris Nemtsov Murder: A New Low for Putin's Russia?
(Cameron Sawyer, Russia
02/28/15 8:12 AM)
The murder of Boris Nemtsov is shocking, incredible. There has not been such a high-level political murder in Russia since the 1930s. This is a new low for the Putin regime, and perhaps we are entering a new phase. This is absolutely not the same Russia, which it was just a few years ago.
In the absence of contrary information, one must presume that the regime did it. It is not believable, to me at least, that other opposition politicians did it as a provocation--the preposterous line being taken by the regime. But at the same time, it is hard to imagine why the regime would do it, unless it was just out of craven brutality. Nemtsov was no threat to Putin.
Is it simply a signal that political opposition will no longer be tolerated at all, on pain of death?
JE comments: Craven brutality might be the only explanation. For if Putin is behind this killing, what possible gain could come from creating a martyr?
Boris Nemtsov Murder
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
02/28/15 2:45 PM)
Very good post from Cameron Sawyer, 28 February, about the horrible murder of Boris Nemtsov.
In the old days before the collapse of the USSR, Italy received a lot of money. The Christian Democratic Party and its smaller allies was getting funds from the US, while the Communist Party was receiving funds from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The poor Socialist Party, which was left in the cold, in order to get its own money did everything it could to steal inside Italy.
These "democratic practices" destroyed the soul of Italy so much that is no surprise that now we are in a bloody mess.
Now it is said that Boris Nemtsov was receiving money from NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and from USAID. Should we therefore cry for him or consider him a traitor, as were the Italians Christian Democrats and the Communists?
The Italian fleet today has just sailed for Libyan territorial waters, of course for "training purposes" only.
JE comments: Was Nemtsov painted as a traitor by the Putin regime? The question has suddenly become moot: now he is a martyr.
- Possible Motives behind Nemtsov Murder (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 03/01/15 4:07 AM)
I fully agree with Cameron Sawyer (28 February) that the Nemtsov murder is the dirty work of the Kremlin regime. There is no doubt about it and the official statements of the Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov (whom I know personally) and the State Procurator's officer's most stupid and incredible versions demonstrate that there is the state behind this crime. I saw a video today showing the whole operation--a typical professional murder fully supported by many elements and exactly fitting the picture that I described in my earlier book The KGB's Poison Factory (UK: 2009, USA: 2010).
The motives are very clear. Boris was a very popular public figure seen by President Yeltsin as a possible successor. He was also one of the leaders of the Russian opposition with pro-Western views and strong American affiliation. Besides, he was the author of several important anti-Putin brochures like, for example, "Putin: Corruption" and many, many others including one on the Olympic games in Sochi. A week ago he met the former Georgian President Saakashvili (an official fiend of the Russian state) in Kiev, they both had several meetings with the Ukrainian President Poroshenko, another Russian fiend, and on 1 March Boris was to lead an important public event in Moscow. On the same day (1 March, which is today) the Russian television prepared to bring out a documentary showing Nemtsov and other opposition leaders like Kasiyanov and Navalny as virtually agents of the West who receive money from Washington and aim to undermine the current regime in Russia by illegal means. Boris Nemtsov was as much hated by the Putin regime as Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and Berezovsky.
I believe he was introduced to his lady companion (the name is known) in Kiev. She, of course, was very much the type he liked, and she easily led him to the trap in Moscow a week later. A standard combination. An the place where Boris was killed was also chosen not at random, as far as I know. There were other much more suitable and discreet places for this professional murder, but specifically this place was chosen, which also shows this was not by chance. There is also no doubt, in spite of what President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, and Mr Hollande are asking, that the perpetrators will never be found. Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya has already announced that this murder is the work of the Western intelligence services who aim to undermine Russia. That is the official line.
JE comments: Many thanks to Boris Volodarsky for this excellent analysis. Wouldn't it behoove Putin to scrounge up some "perpetrators," in a spirit of "justice is served"? This is the way it was done in the old days.
- High-Profile Murders of Putin Critics: BBC (Paul Levine, Denmark 03/01/15 3:52 AM)
This morning the BBC published this list of violent deaths of Putin critics over the last decade. Does anyone see a pattern here?
Violent deaths of Putin opponents:
- April 2003: Liberal politician Sergey Yushenkov assassinated near his Moscow home
- July 2003: Investigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died after 16-day mysterious illness
- July 2004: Forbes magazine Russian editor Paul Klebnikov shot from moving car on Moscow street, died later in hospital
- October 2006: Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead outside her Moscow apartment
- November 2006: Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium in London hotel
- March 2013: Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin power broker turned Putin critic, found dead in his UK home
JE comments: This is starting to look like Colombia in the 1980s. Next up: Boris Volodarsky gives his analysis of the motives behind the Nemtsov murder.
High-Profile Murders of Putin Critics: BBC
(Boris Volodarsky, Austria
03/02/15 4:09 AM)
In response to Paul Levine's BBC list of the murdered Putin critics (1 March), I have to say it is not very much correct and this is, of course, no fault of Paul Levine. I have worked for the BBC when we made a BBC Panorama documentary "How to Poison a Spy" (January 2007) about the killing of Sasha Litvinenko, in which I acted as the chief consultant. The producers followed my advice during the three months of the production work, but after a visit to Moscow at the last moment they changed everything dramatically. And, just to be precise, Litvinenko was not a "Russian spy" but a former officer of the Russian Security Service (FSB). It is a grave mistake to call him a spy.
Now about the list. Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000 after a period as the Director General of the FSB (the Russian Security Service). Following the death of Yuschenkov who was associated with Boris Berezovsky, Yuri Shchekochikhin unfortunately was "secretly" collaborating with Berezovsky's informer Limarev (now giving false evidence at the Litvinenko hearing in London). Paul Khlebnikov does not belong to this list but Politkovskaya and Litvinenko certainly do. Budri Patarkatsyshvili who with his family were my guests in Salzburg in 1995, died under strange circumstances in 2008 very close to my home in Surrey. Then come Alexander Perepilichny (who betrayed several Kremlin schemes to Bill Browder's lawyers) and Boris Berezovsky, both also in the UK. Valeriya Novodvorskaya died in July 2014 in Moscow but to the best of my knowledge nobody investigated why and how exactly she died--natural causes was a standard conclusion. Now we have Akhmed Zakayev (who is extremely quiet in recent times), Garry Kasparov, Mikhail Kasiyanov, and Alexey Navalny (who is currently under arrest).
As soon as they are all murdered, which is not difficult to arrange, the administration has no problem for the next ten years or so. It seems like they might try this, doesn't it?
JE comments: These are very scary times to be in Russia's political opposition. Can we say that Putin has finally put himself above the law? (Is this a profoundly naive statement?)
- Possible Motives behind Nemtsov Murder (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 03/01/15 4:07 AM)
- Boris Nemtsov Murder (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 02/28/15 2:45 PM)