Who was Boris Nemtsov?

Thousands of Russians today attended the funeral of Boris Nemtsov, the brave Russian opposition leader who was gunned down Friday a short distance from the Kremlin.

Boris Nemtsov

Boris Nemtsov

But Mark Ames of PandoDaily, who lived in Moscow during the 1990s, recalled Nemtsov as a part of the Boris Yeltsin regime, which was just as corrupt and just as murderous as what came after.   Nemtsov’s bogus reforms hid and facilitated corruption rather than hindering it, Ames wrote.

Unlike with the Vladimir Putin regime today, few American or European journalists or leaders back then cared about the dissolution of the Russian Duma, war against Chechnya or the murders of Russian journalists.

Yeltsin took the advice of Harvard economists and had good relations with the Clinton administration, and so the crimes and follies of his regime were overlooked—at least until the financial crash of 1998.

Of course Nemtsov’s murder is a serious matter, regardless of his political record.  There are many possible culprits.

Nemtsov’s enemies were legion: aside from Putin and his supporters, there are the more extreme nationalists who think Putin is a sell-out. 

Nemtsov’s open support for the Ukrainian government against his own country generated the kind of hatred antiwar activists had to endure during the Vietnam war: think Jane Fonda upon her return from Hanoi. 

Perhaps a bit more lethal are the oligarchs threatened by Nemtsov’s reform program – a series of “anti-corruption” measures ultimately aborted by his mentor, Boris Yeltsin.

via Justin Raimondo – Antiwar.com.

The one possibility I can’t take seriously is that he was killed as a “provocation” to discredit Putin.

Update [3/4/2015]

Amy Knight, writing in the New York Review of Books, points out that Boris Nemtsov was murdered by what were obviously professional assassins, working in an area near the Kremlin under high surveillance, while Nemtsov must have been under surveillance himself.   Mysteriously (or maybe not mysteriously), she wrote, the video surveillance cameras in the place of the shooting were “under repair” that night.  Given these circumstances, suspicion obviously falls on President Putin.


Boris Nemtsov: Death of a Russian Liberal by Mark Ames for PandoDaily.

Who killed Boris Nemtsov? by Justin Raimondo for Antwar.com.  (Hat tip to Cannonfire)

Lessons from the death of Boris Nemtsov, a Putin foe by John Lloyd for Reuters.  [added 3/4/2015]

Russia: Another Dead Democrat by Amy Knight for the New York Review of Books.  [added 3/4/2015]

Boris Nemtsov joins list of dead Vladimir Putin critics by ABC News.


Note: I rewrote this several hours after I posted it and added the Justin Raimondo quote.

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