Who killed Boris Nemtsov? Well, let’s look at this in the manner of a journalist:
1. Nemtsov was one of Vladimir Putin’s opponents.
2. Putin occasionally likes to order the assassination of his opponents.
3. Ergo, Putin ordered Nemtsov’s assassination.
And now let’s look at it in the manner of Judge Judy:
1. Ummm is not an answer.
2. If it doesn’t make sense, then it’s not true.
And the idea that Putin ordered this makes no sense. Which is not to say that he’s not behind it in the rid-me-of-this-turbulent-priest sense of the term, but in terms of giving actual instructions? No.
Not that I think he’s much too nice a person to ever be involved in such shady dealings. Obviously he isn’t. The problem with crediting Putin with the ordering of the killing is one of reasonability. Why do it?
Imagine the scenario: you’re a President with 80+% approval ratings, a minor war on your hands, gas deals to sign, a sanctions-hit economy to save… And yet you take time out of your busy schedule to take care of poor, harmless Boris Yefimovitch as a priority? Why? Especially if you know that you will be Suspect #1 and- as the demonstrations and general outrage prove – that Nemstov is capable of doing far more damage dead than he ever could alive.
Sure, Nemtsov was preparing a dossier to prove that the Russian military had intervened in Ukraine, and plenty of reporters have jumped on that as a reason for the killing. But again… Suppose that he did manage to provide evidence of Russian involvement. We’re supposed to be shocked and disappointed? NATO member countries have been spamming us with grainy pictures of tanks for months, and getting pretty much zero reaction. And bear in mind too that Putin at this point is pretty much fireproof. We’re talking about a man who effectively caused the shooting down of a civilian airliner and came out of the episode entirely unscathed. What could Nemtsov possibly have published that would be worse PR than MH17?
It’s a serious question. I’ve been wondering to myself all day, and so far all I’ve got is ‘gay sex tape’, which doesn’t bear thinking about.