NEWSWATCH: The Murder of Boris Nemtsov: Another Putin opponent is killed by unknown assailants

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“The Murder of Boris Nemtsov: Another Putin opponent is killed by unknown assailants” – Wall Street Journal editorial – February 28, 2015]

The Wall Street Journal comments upon the assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov in Moscow.

In the gangster state that is Vladimir Putin ‘s Russia, we may never learn who shot dead Boris Nemtsov in Moscow late Friday night, much less why. The longtime opposition leader had once been Russia’s deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, and he might have steered Russia toward a decent future had he been given a chance. Instead, he was fated to become a courageous voice for democracy and human rights who risked his life to alert an indifferent West to the dangers of doing business with the man in the Kremlin.

Nemtsov had warned against the Obama-Putin “reset” and pushed for the Magnitsky Act.

He also questioned Putin’s electoral legitimacy, and was jailed more than once.

And Nemtsov voiced support for democracy in Ukraine.

Nemtsov was … not afraid of criticizing … Putin by name, noting … that he ‘is not the legitimate leader of Russia’ given the ballot stuffing that went into his 2012 election. For his honesty he was repeatedly arrested and jailed by the Russian government. He was also the rare Russian willing to speak up for Ukraine’s democracy movement. …

The Wall Street Journal editors include Nemtsov among other Putin opponents who have been assassinated or suffered repression.

With his murder, Nemtsov’s name now joins that of other opponents of Mr. Putin who have met violent deaths or otherwise been brutalized by his regime: journalist Anna Politkovskaya, human-rights researcher Natalya Estemirova, opposition leader Alexei Navalny. One day their names will be celebrated in Russia, long after Mr. Putin is gone.


File Photo of Mourners with Photo of Anna Politkovskaya

File Photo of Flowers and Photo of Natalya Estemirova

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[featured images are file photos]