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    February 28, 2015

    Did the US Murder Boris Nemtsov? The Imminent Threat

    2-28-14

    By: Joaquin Flores

    Headlines around the world have carried some variation of the story: the murder of Boris Nemtsov.  Each of these includes some retelling of the pertinent facts: what, who, where, how … but the real question is ‘why’.  The answer to this question, or rather, what the West insists is the answer, will tell us a lot about the US’s plans to escalate the tensions in Russia over Ukraine, and beyond. 




    It would be foolish to set aside any hypothesis about this being motivated by people close to him, in the realm of business, politics, or romance.   In anything related to business dealings, we might recall that any number of people probably wanted him dead due to his criminality and corruption while serving as director of the now liquidated Neftyanoi Bank, and as chairman of its parent company Neftyanoi Concern.

    Much controversy surrounded this affair back in 2006.  Of course in the realm of romantic problems, we have significantly those surrounding the woman he was last seen with.  This woman, Anna Duritskaya, was also present during the shooting. Rumors are floating around that this could do with her recent abortion and surrounding points of melodrama.

    An obvious link with this case is the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, but in one variation—this killing may have been motivated by an internal dispute between pro-US factions there. Nemtsov was connected with the US-backed “Orange Revolution”, and Victor Yuschenko, who was appointed as an economic advisor then, left under suspicious circumstances and more enemies than friends.

    Among any of these could very well be the motive of the killer or those behind him, but the timing of this shooting and other pertinent facts should lead us to consider that this was politically motivated.

    These plots can actually be somewhat complex, and it is often the case that two birds are killed with one stone.  A personal rival can be given a green light to settle a score, and also accomplish something of larger geostrategic significance such as this.

    But to the point, here we are looking at whether this was carried out on the orders of one of the major players in the present world turmoil.  Concretely, the question is whether this was carried out by the Russians and their friends, or by the US and their friends and numerous “assets”.



    Whether the actual shooting was done by contract or not, is also not very important except when looking at the forensics of the crime scene, and the immediate circumstances themselves.  These might tell us a few things, except that in cases such as this we must always be mindful that looking like an unprofessional job – such as in this case – would be something a professional would do to throw off the scent.



    For example, we are likely to hear from friends of Russia that this killing does not have the telltale signs of a professional type of hit, the sort that a government would carry out.  They will point out that, if chased by Kremlin assassins, Boris Nemtsov would have died in a car crash, or from a heart attack.  It is considered far too sloppy for anyone in the Kremlin to think of shooting him in public, with witnesses ready at hand. The CIA experts would surely agree.

    Recapping: such clean methods would actually seem to implicate the Russian state, whereas the rather sloppy way Nemtsov was actually killed would force us to rule this out.  But by that same logic, if a hit of this sort were to be carried out, then it would make perfect sense for the state to use an “amateur” looking method. In the case of the US,  a different objective must be served. If the US was behind this, the murder would have to be “obvious”, messy, ugly, leaving behind few doubts.

    Indeed, if the Russians had wanted Nemtsov dead, the value of killing him would have been in his absence.  But if the Americans were to kill him, the value would be in the spectacle of the killing itself.  This killing is loaded with spectacle.

    While one can argue that Russia could have employed someone to use sloppy methods in order to throw off the scent, it is more likely that given the method, the choreography, the US is probably behind it.  The deed itself could have been arranged through Ukrainian assets, which the CIA and other NATO nations now have in abundance, and would not have involved actual US agents on the ground in Moscow.



    Thus this act in “broad daylight” was very clearly a murder meant to be  known as a murder.  This does not fit into either a Russian motive or modus operandi.

    Cui bono??
    The deeper questions surrounding any case of this sort seem to confirm the above.

    The first question we must ask is ‘cui bono’. In this case we know that Russia, in particular Putin, had nothing to gain.  The killing of Nemtsov under any circumstances does not make any sense from the view of a Russian or Putin interest. Politically, and alive, he did not pose a real threat.  With less than 5%, his ticket and the Republican Party failed to garner enough support to get a seat in the Duma.  And, again, with approval ratings above 85%, Putin scarcely needs to resort to these kinds of tactics, which, in any case, despite his legions of slanderers, paid and amateur, he would be loath to employ anyhow. Putin is not a tinhorn dictator, but the head of a powerful and complex nation.

    Indeed Russia today is at a different juncture historically and politically, where such methods are not necessary even if there was an opposition figure to be concerned about.  With just about every other form of virtual assassination possible, actual ones are not necessary.  There are other methods to delegitimize annoying characters like Nemtsov, which invariably revolve around their business dealings, underage girls, and so forth.

    These other methods are much cleaner, as assassinations make a government look more desperate, create an unnecessary martyr out of a marginal figure, and fuel more opposition at home and abroad.

    While he held an important position in the 1990’s under Yeltsin, as First Deputy Prime Minister for about a year until 1998, his political career since the early 00’s had been of little significance and has not inspired mass support.



    That said, it is the US that has the most to gain from this.  The Western press has painted Nemtsov for years as the likely person to replace Putin in the event of a serious fracture of political stability in Russia.  This follows a self-serving western narrative, where western liberal values are superimposed as natural and universal around the world.

    While Nemtsov was one of the US’s favorites, he is not a favorite with the Russian people.  The actual ‘runner up’ party in Russia, which is projected to surpass Putin’s ruling party in the event of a serious change, is the Communist Party of Zyuganov.  But this narrative cuts against western interests, and is at odds with the west’s narratives about the Cold War and its results.

    That the western press and the leadership of the US and Ukraine are already exploiting this is another clue that they most likely had a hand in it.

    We can see already statements made by Obama and Poroshenko, the  Canadian Foreign Minister, and also the deputy general secretary of NATO. The declarations happened very quickly, uniformly, and seem to be following an agreed on format.
     .
    These statements from NATO and foreign governments are outrageous, but not surprising, because they imply that the Russian government was behind the crime.  Why would the murder be condemned‘?  Besides the fact that all murders are condemned, generally, by the societies in which they occur (hence there are laws against them), why would this particular murder be ‘condemned’politically without knowing at this point if there was a political motive at all?



    As we know, on March 1st, tomorrow, there will be another attempt by pro-US forces and their liberal allies (read savage free-marketers) to launch a Russian “Spring”, also called the ‘Anti-Crisis March’.  With this fresh murder just 36 hours before the March, we might expect to see the martyrdom of Nemtsov highlighted.



    Just ten days ago, Alexei Navalny another western-backed figure, was arrested for trying to organize the march, which backers hope will attract as many as 100,000 against Putin.



    When Putin was last elected, the same group organized a similar march.  The loyal opposition Communists joined this march, and drowned the liberal banners with communist ones. This was an excellent test run and message sent to US handlers, that Russia is ready with its own loyal opposition to frustrate and redirect the aims of any 5th column efforts on the part of the US.

    Likewise, on the propaganda front, the patriotic scene has co-opted the term ‘Russian Spring’ to mean the opposite of what the US has branded it in places like Egypt, Libya, and Syria.  Now it means a movement to push back the US’s hegemonic schemes, including its use of the Color/Spring tactic.

    The biggest concern now for this Sunday’s march is not the turnout, or how it will be spun in the west.  The problem on the propaganda side of this action so far is that it is quite useless and incomplete.

    Russia’s present political stability and the popularity of Putin is not in the hands of western media.  This represents a monumental shift from the last days of old media during the collapse of the USSR, when BBC and CNN represented the spectacle of “objective”and “neutral” reporting.

    For Russian audiences, and Russian media, this investigation will follow the form of a standard murder investigation.  Given the status of the victim and the political implications, it will be given significant coverage.  Eventually investigators will make an arrest, and some story will be told.  The story may or may not be true, but by and large it will be accepted.

    Russians are not losing sleep over this murder, and the outcome of the investigation is not related in any way to their general support for the present government and its policies.  Russians have other things to do, places to go, work to get done, and lives to live.  Most didn’t like Nemtsov, and only see it as a tragedy, perhaps even a US plot. Those who like him will blame the state, as they hold the state and Putin responsible for much of everything else.  All of this is true also of Sunday’s planned march.

    For western audiences, Russia is already a totalitarian regime in which opposition is silenced, and its leaders imprisoned and killed in cold blood.  This is already the standard narrative which requires no further reiteration.  Putin is Hitler.  Appeasement will not work. This is already the line.

    All of this means that we haven’t heard the end of this yet.  It is difficult to see how increased sanctions can be pulled out of this murder, but if there are, that should be no surprise.  Past sanctions were based on less. Still, Europe has grown wary of sanctions and any further sanctions are likely to be symbolic, as were the last round.

    The biggest concern now is if there are more killings planned for Sunday.  The US seems to be going ahead with all of its plans even if the necessary successes at each step before are not met.  We have seen this in Syria and Ukraine.

    In such an event, it is obvious how the US will likely spin the “propaganda fallout” of this event, and the call will soon begin openly—as it did for Assad— for Putin to step down.  While this last part may be an eventuality at any rate, the events tomorrow will tell us whether we should expect a serious escalation of this destabilization process.

    ***
    Read the Greanville Post edit of this article here:  

    Did the US Murder Boris Nemtsov? The Imminent Threat

    Joaquin Flores is an American expat living in Belgrade. He is a full-time analyst at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank. His expertise encompasses Eastern Europe and Eurasia,


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