Monday, May 30, 2016


Transmission

'The West' Did It: Nemtsov Conspiracy Theory Snowballs In Russia

A man reacts at the site where veteran Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow.
A man reacts at the site where veteran Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow.

Since Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov’s slaying in central Moscow on February 27, numerous senior Russian officials, talking heads, and pro-Kremlin activists have insinuated or outright claimed that "the West" is responsible for the crime.

"Some kill in cold blood in front of movie cameras, with all of the cinematic flourishes and techniques, ...like Islamist radicals do in the Middle East. Others kill in such a way that it appears they have nothing to do with another person’s death, mumbling something about democracy," Dmitry Kiselyov said on March 1 in his weekly news program Vesti Nedeli on the state-run Rossia-1 television channel.

Kiselyov, head of the state-owned media organization Russia Today who relentlessly decries what he calls attempts by the West to undermine Russia’s sovereignty, stopped short of directly accusing Western governments of organizing Nemtsov’s killing.

But in the segment, which featured a graphic reading "Bloody Provocation," he added that the West would benefit from the images of the crime scene on a bridge near the Kremlin on the eve of an antigovernment protest in Moscow that he said was destined to flop.

"No one would find out that the air was going out of the protest even before it started. Blood, stars, Nemtsov, bullets: Those are the associations they need," Kiselyov said.

Unlike Kiselyov, other prominent members of Russia’s political elite refused to dance around the conspiracy theory that the United States or Europe was responsible for killing Nemtsov in order to discredit Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government. 

"Why are we so scared of conspiracy theories? Look what the CIA does. They kidnap our citizens. They torture people. They do anything they want," Andrei Lugovoi, a deputy in Russia’s State Duma, said in a March 1 talk show broadcast on Rossia-1

Lugovoi, who is wanted in Britain in connection with the 2006 poisoning death of former Russian security-services officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, added that only the West benefited from the death of Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who became a vocal Putin critic and operated on the margins of Russia’s domestic political landscape at the time of his death.

"This clearly did not benefit the opposition or the authorities -- only the West. I am deeply convinced of this," said Lugovoi, who represents the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party in Russia’s lower chamber of parliament.

Another State Duma deputy, Valery Rashkin of the Communist Party, called Nemtsov’s assassination-style killing an "act of war against the entire Russian elite, a public demonstration with the message: 'We won't let anyone stop us.'" 

Rashkin claimed in a February 28 blog post that the killing was ordered by "a transnational group of the financial elite based in the United States" that has ties to former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. 

‘Provocation By The USA’

Russian-language Internet users have flooded social networks in recent days with accusations that the U.S. government was behind Nemtsov’s killing.

Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, suggested that the proliferation of these theories on Twitter were part of a "paid campaign" and said it was ironic that for years Nemtsov had been demonized by Kremlin supporters as an American pawn

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, whom rights activists and Western officials have accused of ordering extrajudicial killings both in Russia and abroad, saw no contradictions in Nemtsov's purported fealty to foreign paymasters that he claims were responsible for the slaying.

"There is no doubt that the murder of Nemtsov was organized by Western intelligence agencies who seek by any means to create internal conflict in Russia by any means possible," Kadyrov wrote in a February 28 Instagram post. "That’s what they do. First they take someone under their wings, call him a friend of America and Europe, and then sacrifice him in order to implicate the political leadership."

Other Kremlin supporters took this message directly to U.S. diplomats in the Russian capital.

In a February 28 tweet, pro-Putin youth activist Maria Katasanova, an assistant to hard-line United Russia lawmaker Yevgeny Fyodorov, posted a photograph of herself standing in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow holding a sign that reads: "Nemtsov’s murder is a provocation by the USA." 

Not all pro-Kremlin mouthpieces have rushed to accuse the United States or other Western governments of complicity in the crime.

Sergei Markov, a former State Duma deputy and veteran of the U.S. think tank world who once co-authored a book with McFaul, wrote in a February 28 Facebook post that the "dominant theory in Russia" that U.S. secret services were involved in Nemtsov’s killing is misplaced. 

"Nemtsov was clearly a pro-American politician," Markov wrote. "It’s hard for me to imagine that the U.S. government bureaucracy would give the green light to U.S. secret services to kill a famous pro-American politician."

He posited that it is "very likely" that Ukrainian security services are responsible for Nemtsov’s death.

-- Carl Schreck

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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by: Paul D Johnson from: CANADA
March 02, 2015 22:21
It,s a gorry smelly mess, the supposedly pro -american politician gunned down at night, The same man was one of two people that derminated the life of his unborn child,
Some years back a young american politician by the name of John Kerry , his young pregnant secratery disappearred and i have never heard that she was ever located or found, Is the American foriegn minister the same John Kerry ?? or was it a different John Kerry,?? A smelly world isn, t ?? murder incorporated,
In Response

by: Andrew from: Tbilisi
March 05, 2015 08:30
Either the Canadian education system no longer teaches English, or you are another RuSSian troll....
In Response

by: John Gray from: United States
March 09, 2015 19:53
No it wasn't John Kerry's young aide who disappeared. What the hell? I know you're a Russian troll purporting to be in Canada, but the obvious truth is that this murder was ordered by Putin. The one thing Putin cannot stand is honest, open opposition to his continued (mis)rule. He's an autocrat and will never give up power voluntarily; he's jailed or killed opposition figures and harassed their Parties. This murder was ordered by Putin.

by: Gordon Ball from: Ottawa Canada
March 02, 2015 23:34
Dear friends in Prague, Did Sergei Markov once work for the Voice of America?

by: Otto-Ville Kusinen from: Laukaa
March 03, 2015 06:28
West did also put those Kremlin surveillance cameras on service mode. Wonder who was driving that truck covering the murder scene

by: bobo smith from: texas
March 03, 2015 07:14
This definitely has the smell of CIA on it. They'll murder just about anyone to destabilize a country.. just look at what they did in Ukraine.
In Response

by: TrueAmerican56 from: TEXAS
March 03, 2015 15:58
Another Texas rightwing nutcase or a Russian plant, but that doesn't even make sense.
In Response

by: Ivan Malyushytskyy from: Kiev
March 03, 2015 17:55
When you mean "they" you mean the murder police Putin sent to kill Ukrainians? Because Russia invaded Ukraine, every child, wife, mother murdered by the so called "volunteers" in Russian uniforms is on his hands.

In typical Putin fashion, he will blade the opposition for killing Nemtsov, and then kill the rest of the opposition after he claims it was all their fault.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 04, 2015 02:51
The C.I.A. doesn't kill its allies idiots
In Response

by: kiki from: france
March 06, 2015 10:51
Hey CIA, you just jumped to cut off antiamerican reply!
Why are you so scared of voices against you, CIA???
Are you the most frightening modern dictatorship???
looks like....
In Response

by: yankee phil from: holland
March 27, 2015 12:43
anonymous; Cia kills its own people when they feel its necessary,and they kidnap(rendition), torture, and kill innocent civilians if they only suspect they may have intel thats important to them. Grow up or at least read a newspaper once in a while,what a moroun.

by: concerned from: home
March 03, 2015 07:27
It is obvious the C.I.A. of the U.S. committed this crime to discredit Putin. The U.S. has tried everything else and failed miserably.
In Response

by: Sarah from: Phoenix
March 05, 2015 01:58
Clearly you don't know anything about us. If we wanted Putin out, we wouldn't discredit him. We'd simply take him out. Killing someone(even a member of the opposition) and then using it as a means to attack the west/opposition/or anyone else who disagrees or isn't like is an old move by Russia's political elite.

Do you know how the U.S. would do it? We'd either find some humanitarian(the invasion of Ukraine is close but not enough people have died) or Putin/Russia would have to directly or indirectly attack us and the media would get us all fired up(just like it's doing in Russia) and they we'd send in the troops and take out Putin.

Now THAT'S our style. It's ALWAYS been our style. Just look at our history. What happened to Nemtsov is a classic Russian/U.S.S.R. move. I can't think of any other nation that has killed so many people who 'did not pose any *real* threat'.

by: Alan from: California
March 03, 2015 07:30
This is the same gang of disinformation-monkies who would have us believe that the U.S.-gov was behind the 9/11 attacks.

by: Ed from: AMERICA
March 03, 2015 07:32
putina did it.
In Response

by: THINK PINK from: RUSSIA
March 06, 2015 10:53
No, he didn't! not his interest! that opposition was quite confty for him... THINK

by: dantheman from: Napa Valley
March 03, 2015 07:32
Of course the US did it. It wasn't the first assassination done by the US government, and it won't be the last. It's a long list:
JFK, RFK, MLK, Khaddafi, Allende, Saddam Hussein, Mossadegh, and many many more.

by: Democracy from: Earth
March 03, 2015 10:13
What are we waiting for? More sanctions, Putin, Lavrov personas non gratas in EU and US. Assets freeze. Cutting off from SWIFT. Ban of Russian participation on sporting and cultural events.

If only Germany wasn't led by corrupt politicians and White House had a real American president.
In Response

by: Ivan from: US
March 03, 2015 17:57
And idiots like you are the reason that the first real president in two decades can only focus on fixing the Bush family screw ups.

by: dlb from: Ohio
March 03, 2015 17:55
Russian judges are CIA operatives. Russian prisons are run by Blackwater. Opponents of Putin are jailed in this way to make Putin look bad.
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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