U.S. media is quick to blame Putin for the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
But Itina Khakamada – a top ally of Nemtsov in the opposition – said the killing was “clearly not in Putin’s interest. It’s aimed at rocking the situation.”
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agrees.
Mikhail Delyagin – a top advisor to Nemtsov for a year and a half – said that Putin didn’t do it, and compared it to the shootdown of Malaysian Flight 17 over Ukraine:
The fact is obvious: this is a Malaysian Boeing, shot down by the Nazis at the walls of the Kremlin.
This is a classic sacrificial lamb, textbook case. Good job Americans, good job Nazis, good job liberals. I don’t know who of them did this. But it was done beautifully.
We have to be prepared that Ukraine will be brought to Russia a lot faster then I thought just recently.
Before I thought that we are safe from Maidan until November, now it is clear that Maidan may be lit up already in the spring. The sacrificial lamb has been slaughtered.
Even the U.S. government’s Voice of America states – in an article entitled “Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?” – that Putin loses much more than he gains by the assassination:
With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage. But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin’s rule.
Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov’s death.
Even officials in Putin’s government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister’s martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night’s drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate “provocation” ahead of the planned weekend rally.