|The murdered Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was a loyal supporter of Maidan|
February 27, 2016
Translated from Russian by Kristina Kharlova
According to various estimates the so-called “Nemtsov march” drew from 8 to 15 thousand people from among the different sectors of society. They gathered to honor the memory of opposition politician murdered on February 27, 2015.
Let us remember, what Boris Nemtsov himself said about the rallies and protesters.
“They are white collar, so-called hamsters from the Internet, who pound the keybord on Facebook and VKontakte. I had to represent their interests when I tackled the issue with the mayor’s office and Bolotnaya square…
That is 10% of the rally were politically motivated people, and 90% of the rally were total vegetables who were sort of outraged that they got f$cked…
No, there was also this scum Limonov — finished provocateur, who will announce tomorrow the day of the revolution along with Zakhar Prilepin, tomorrow they want to stage a revolution. But, since the square will be full of timid penguins, I think we need to ensure they are not touched [by police – KK], otherwise they will turn away from us and say that we use them as cannon fodder…”.
KK: While any murder, including that of Nemtsov is a terrible tragedy, let us not idealize his legacy. And certainly the Russian people are not quick to forgive his track record. While Nemtsov will undoubtedly remain a martyr for the active opposition minority, for the other ‘86%’ he will remain the face of the wild 90’s, betrayal and the fifth column, which had sold out to the State department.
At a recent lecture on Russia, Rawi Abdelal, the director of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, was asked if Nemtsov could have been killed by the Kremlin. His answer was: “It was not in Kremlin’s interest”. According to Abdelal, “Nemtsov was a useful opposition figure and not a threat to the Kremlin”. Most Russian analysts tend to agree. Abdelal’s conclusion was that if anything Nemtsov’s murder in front of the Kremlin showed that the Kremlin was in less control then it would like to appear to be.
At the end for Russian opposition Nemtsov became what the “heavenly hundred” became for Maidan supporters in Ukraine. In this sense, a dead Nemtsov is more useful than he could ever be alive.
More useful reading from our 2015 files: