Boris Nemtsov, 55, was the West’s “man in Moscow,” and was supported greatly by western powers. His assassination was immediately blamed on President Putin. It is not out of the question that the Kremlin would sanction a hit on the West’s favored replacement, however it is unlikely. Putin’s experience in the KGB would have taught him that public assassinations only breed resentment among the populace.
The speed at which western media laid the blame at Putin’s feet, convicting him before the body was even removed from the scene, shows that the murder will be propagandized by the West to create the resentment mentioned above. It has led to early speculation that the West sacrificed their favored son in Russia to create a martyr for factionalized dissidents to unite behind.
Nemtsov’s last Tweet was a plea to Russian opposition parties to unite against the war with Ukraine.
The only witness to the killing was a female Ukrainian national who was walking with Nemtsov. She described a car full of people stopping and opening fire. She was unharmed.
Mikhail Kasyanov, another opposition leader, was conveniently on scene to make the statement:
“In the 21st century, a leader of the opposition is being demonstratively shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin!”
The statement coincided with Nemtsov’s body being zipped in the body bag, creating a propaganda dream for the West.
Despite his campaigns against homosexuals, immigrants, and other minorities, Putin’s popularity is high enough that without resorting to the assassination of opposition figures, he will handily win the 2016 election if he chooses to run.