Akhmed Zakayev, who was a close aide to Dzhokhar Dudayev and who leads the anti-Moscow Chechens from London, says that Moscow’s suggestion that Chechens were responsible for the murder of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov last week is “pure propaganda which has nothing in common with reality.”
Any thinking person can see that this is only the latest example of Vladimir Putin’s long-standing demonization of the Chechens who fought for their own independence and who are now fighting for that of Ukraine, actions Putin couldn’t forgive or fail to exploit in his propaganda exercises.
There is even evidence that some close to the Kremlin are ashamed by the absurdity and brazenness of this action: Kremlin-controlled television channels have not shown a single report about Putin’s decorating of his Chechen, Ramzan Kadyrov, despite their penchant for boosting everything the Kremlin leader does.
Perhaps some Kremlin propagandists concluded that it was just too much to show Putin awarding the Chechen head, who had called into question the very idea that there was “a Chechen link” in the Nemtsov case, at the very same time that the Russian government was pedaling the idea that Chechens were the shooters.
But they shouldn’t have been so worried. Many of the reliable supporters of the Kremlin and indeed many others could be counted on to ignore such self-evidence contradictions just as they have so many other Putin duplicities and to swallow the increasingly Orwellian version of reality now on offer in Moscow.
Unfortunately, there is an obvious answer as to why, and it was provided more than half a century ago. When Governor Adlai Stevenson was running for US president in 1956, one of his aides told him “Governor, all thinking people support you,” to which Stevenson replied, “Yes, but I need a majority.”