Who Killed Nemstov?

It is the question of the hour. Initially, it was presumed that Mr. Putin had a hand in it. But Mark Almond thinks that perhaps it was the radical nationalist crowd

Whoever murdered Boris Nemtsov wanted to kill hopes for a cosier future between East and West.

There is a point here — Nemstov’s murder will harden attitudes in the west against Putin (whether there is evidence of his complicity in the crime or not). It will make it harder — not easier — to undo sanctions.

But consider — during the Ukrainian fiasco, Putin showed no serious interest in getting rid of sanctions quickly. He could have by doing a deal in Ukraine, but he did not. So is he really so worried about sanctions now? Perhaps not. On the other hand, a public murder of Nemstov demonstrates to the Russian elite that they cross him at their peril.

We might also recall that murder in Moscow has not been all that uncommon over the last period of years.  Anyone remember Paul Klebnikov?  Anna Politkovskaya? These are just two. Who killed them? Was it the shadowy nationalist right, trying to discredit Putin? If so, what did Putin do to demonstrate that he is a more moderate figure? As far as I can recall, he did nothing.

In other words, my own guess is that Almond is full of it.

 

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