Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Fears of the powerful?

There are obviously layers of politics in Russia of which I am ignorant. I'm also ignorant of the motivations of fanatical assassins who act on their own. (See Sarajevo in 1914.)

It's hard for me to imagine any one person being such a great threat to power structure in Russia. Then again, I would probably have said the same thing about Khomeini and the Iranian power structure back in 1978.

Watch for further developments.

Fear Envelops Russia After Killing of Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov
On Saturday, it was still not clear who was responsible for killing Mr. Nemtsov. Some critics of the Kremlin accused the security services of responsibility, while others floated the idea of rogue Russian nationalists on the loose in Moscow…

As supporters of Mr. Nemtsov laid flowers on the sidewalk where he was shot and killed late Friday, a shiver of fear moved through the political opposition in Moscow…

“Another terrible page has been turned in our history,” Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the exiled former political prisoner, wrote in a statement about the killing.

“For more than a year now, the television screens have been flooded with pure hate for us,” he wrote of the opposition to Mr. Putin…

This comes as analysts of Russian politics say the Kremlin could be worried about, and intent on discouraging, further defections to the opposition, given reported high-level schisms between hard-liners and liberals over military and economic policy. The government is already under strain from Russia’s unacknowledged involvement in the war in Ukraine and runaway inflation in an economic crisis…

Anatoly Chubais, a co-founder with Mr. Nemtsov of the Union of Right Forces political party, scorned the investigators’ claim. “Today, we had a statement that the liberal opposition organized the killing,” he said. “Before this, they wrote that the liberals created the economic crisis. In this country, we have created demand for anger and hate.”…

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