Nemtsov feared Putin would kill him and now the Kremlin leader has

Boris Nemtsov

Boris Nemtsov 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Almost three weeks ago, Boris Nemtsov said that he feared that Vladimir Putin would kill him for his opposition activities, and last night, the Kremlin leader did, either by direct order which some are convinced is the most likely or by creating the barbarous climate in Russia which has made such crimes more possible as others do.

On February 10, Nemtsov told “Sobesednik” that he had long feared that action but until that point had shared his fears only with his mother. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, the situation has deteriorated to the point, he suggested, that he “finally decided to talk about all this in public.”

His mother, Nemtsov said at the time, “is categorically against what is taking place in Ukraine and considers that this is a catastrophe and a complete nightmare. But Putin agitates her more than Ukraine. Every time when I call her, she says: ‘When are you going to stop cursing Putin? He will kill you!’”

She was at that point “really afraid,” Nemtsov said, that Putin would kill him in the near future because of his statements and actions. “And this, I repeat, was no joke: she is an intelligent person. She very much fears this.”


Nemtsov is dead, gunned down within sight of the Kremlin, and many are sure that Putin bears direct or indirect responsibility for this latest crime

Nemtsov said then that he didn’t fear this possibility as much as his mother “but all the same … If I feared it very much then I would hardly be able to head an opposition party or be involved in what I am involved with.” And in response to his interviewer’s hope that “good sense will triumph and Putin will not kill you,” Nemtsov said he hoped so too.

Now, however, Nemtsov is dead, gunned down within sight of the Kremlin, and many are sure that Putin bears direct or indirect responsibility for this latest crime. Igor Eidman notes that “now many are writing that Putin didn’t give the order … but is guilty because he released the genie of hatred out of the bottle and created an atmosphere of chauvinist hysteria.”

But the Moscow commentator says that he is “certain that it was precisely Putin who in one form or another personally gave the order to kill Nemtsov.” The Kremlin leader like the bandit he is could not bear Nemtsov’s characterization of him as “the great dictator” and his constant criticism of what Putin has done at home and abroad.

From Putin’s perspective, Eidman says, Nemtsov had thereby undermined Putin’s authority, something the Kremlin leader cannot tolerate. But there is a more immediate and practical reason why Putin killed him: Nemtsov was preparing a report on “Putin and the War” about the crimes of the Kremlin in Ukraine. Putin couldn’t allow that to appear.

Few people especially inside Russia are prepared to be that blunt. After all, in the current environment, they could become the next victims. Instead, and Nemtsov’s fellow opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky is typical of this, they prefer to speak about “political responsibility” rather than accusing Putin of this crime.

Unfortunately, that reluctance, the natural response to the increasingly vicious nature of the Putin regime, plays right into the hands of how the Kremlin is dealing with this situation. On the one hand, it is putting out a variety of “versions” of the murder, confident that the media in its quest for “balance” and “responsibility,” will report them.

That will allow Putin to avoid responsibility by muddying the waters, the same thing he has done with his crimes in the past, and almost inevitably mean that Western leaders instead of viewing this political murder as yet another reason to oppose Putin’s actions will avoid doing so, possibly in the continued name of not causing the Kremlin leader to “lose face.”

And on the other hand, the Putin regime is doing what it can to prevent the murder of Nemtsov from sparking the kind of political protest Russian regimes historically have found difficult to cope with. The opposition wants to transform a protest march scheduled for tomorrow into a memorial march: Putin’s agents in the Moscow city government have already said no.

The author of these lines had the privilege of meeting Boris Nemtsov. He was a truly great man, the kind of leader Russia needs to escape its past and become a better place. Now that he has been gunned down by those committed to taking Russia back to that past, we must honor his memory in the first instance by not allowing his murderers to evade responsibility.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Michel Cloarec

    To kill an opponent 2 days before a demonstration in Moscow is so obvious, that nobody can believe anything else. I think it was a big mistake of the lodger in Kremlin, It proves again that he is afraid of the truth and that all his % of partisans or supporters is anything but truth. Pity for Russia, but Boris Nemtsov could have been the hope for all the russians and peace in Europe.
    He deserves a medal from Ukraine for bravour and courage in front of the ennemy !

    • Czech Friend

      tragedy for Russia and for the whole world. Many more quality people will flee the country leaving it in the hands of Putin’s mafia and his fanatical proletariat.

      And we’ve seen where this can go with Nazi Germany.

  • Czech Friend

    Just when you think Putler cannot sink any lower he pleads to the mother whose son he had murdered to find the culprits. But what is one more innocent life for a mass murderer who has killed thousands to date.

  • Charles J. Kollman

    I thought the KGB. would have use an agent that can not be found in a person at time of an autopsy. After the agent then throw under a moving car. Yes this shows Putin does not want peace. He wants only to grow the size of Russia. I don’t understand people that what Putin is for and about a new Soviet Union. People don’t know that this cracked in the past and it will not work tomorrow.

    • puttypants

      Putin will find a scapegoat. And europe will pretend they believe him so they don’t have to do anything.

      • Charles J. Kollman

        Different day same old crap. As i look at all things being an American i know understand and except and need to take responsibility that The US. lies cover ups and has it’s propaganda. America does and has done it’s wrongs over time. The best was when we lost our innocence on Nov22,1963. It was a killing of the last honest President John F. Kennedy. You just have to know and believe that there had to be help from the inside and the idea of it came from the inside. Next 9/11 and i believe the Government new of it, but did nothing they meaning Bush needed a cause so he could come up with the solution for the Red Flag. Obama i do not except as the US. President, but Bush was a Tyrant while the people were sleeping. The Anti Liberty Patriot Act this is Bush. But the Soviets now Russians are better in taking care of business they are outrageous.

  • Brent

    This is a classic mafia hit. Putin’s mafia. No one in Russia would dare do this without Putin’s stamp of approval. I’m sure we’ll soon start seeing the ridiculous accusations ranging from Ukrainian or Chechen involvement. to the CIA or a bad batch of Victoria Nuland’s cookies. The trolls are awfully quiet today so it’s clear that for once the Kremlin is reviewing ‘what’s out there’ before coming up with the misdirection.

    Eventually they will serve up some out of work stooges as the fall guys and they’ll be killed while trying to apprehend them.

    • canuke

      My prediction: they’ll find a poor Chechen or Tajik migrant and frame him with the murder. Just wait. A show trial. The poor sop will “admit” to the murder for totally non-political reasons.

    • Michel Cloarec

      Troll on Ua today starts with this alternative. Soon we can write a book with all the posts. mc


      are reports that Nemtsov’s model girlfriend may have had a role in his murder.
      She was recently forced to have an abortion as well and may have been riled up
      at only being his mistress. Questions have also been asked as to why she was not
      harmed in the shooting and whether their walk on an isolated bridge just before
      midnight was coincidental? New images of the model have also been released …”

  • puttypants

    Eidman…your comments are absolutely correct.!!!

  • Paul P. Valtos

    Well Putin’s right hand took action, the solntsvnskaya bratva was ordered to knock off this pain in the ass of Putin’s. Kind of like Ernst Rohm and the night of the long knives were Hitler decided to shut down the SA when the Wehrmacht complained that they were in competition with them and getting followers. Eventually, possibly not in my lifetime, Putin will share the fate of one of his predecessors Nicholas despite his being more competent but just as brutal. Constantinople, the Russian Orthodox are coming with an army. Interesting situation but sadly, just a repetition of failed Russian foreign policy.