– the day's happenings in perspective –

Nemtsov’s Inadvertent Suicide

The New Russians

As the killing of Boris Nemtsov slowly fades from Western media’s collective memory, an investigation into the murder of another Putin opponent, the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, is wrapping up in London. Both men died dramatically – Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium, dying a slow, grisly death in a London hospital, while Nemtsov was shot a mere 200 yards from the Kremlin. Both men also had a common enemy: Vladimir Putin. Horrifying and baffling murders like theirs have been hallmarks of Putin’s rule, allowing rare glimpses into the power struggles that shape Russia. Finding the patterns in these murders is essential to understanding the terrifying new era Nemtsov’s death has ushered in.

Too many Westerners see in Nemtsov’s murder just another sign of Putin’s Stalinist leanings, ignoring the basic rule of “who benefits?” Bloomberg visualized the dangers of this bias perfectly in a list of 11 “prominent Russians” killed…

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