So it’s going to be like this…

As my readers and particularly Twitter followers are no doubt aware by now, opposition figure and politician Boris Nemtsov was killed last night, shot multiple times by an unknown gunman in a white car. He was killed on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge, within sight of the Kremlin and close by several other important government headquarters in Moscow. Apparently the killers felt bold enough to commit such an egregious crime, involving a firearm, being fully aware of the security presence in central Moscow.

In the next couple days it might seem like I have little to say about this tragedy, but rest assured it is only because I am working on a special article that will incorporate my opinions on this matter. I was planning to write on the topic of how Kremlin propaganda can lead to real violence which can’t be managed or controlled by the power structure. I already had a number of incidents in mind to use as examples. Then last night this shooting happened, and it may serve as the clearest, most concrete example of the topic I wanted to discuss.

Last Saturday, the government sponsored a meeting where various thugs swore they would not allow a coup to take place in Russia. Nemtsov has long been targeted as a traitor who wanted to humiliate Russia and deliver it as a colony to the United States. Since 2013, the Kremlin’s media outlets have increasingly whipped up more and more fury against potential “5th columnists.” This has coincided with increasing government harassment of NGO’s and Russia’s remaining independent media outlets. In this climate, it is naive indeed to think that people constantly subjected to increasingly hysterical, apocalyptic propaganda will not act on their beliefs at some point. If you tell people that they are surrounded by dark forces who seek to bring about the end of their existence, some of them are going to attempt to fight.

It seems to me that Putin’s “managed democracy” is now rapidly becoming unmanageable.

4 thoughts on “So it’s going to be like this…

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      It was obviously someone with some clout, or at least someone who thought they had protection. He was shot within sight of the Kremlin.

      The thing about Putin’s rule is that it is, forgive the comparison, something like that of yes…Adolf Hitler(bear with me).

      Hitler of course preached this “Fuhrerprincip” about the leader determining everything and supposedly taking responsibility for everything. The reality, however, was that he deliberately maintained this system whereby people below him competed to curry favor and get closer with him. He would say very general things and then leave it up to competing toadies to try to figure out what it was that he wanted.

      Putin works in a similar way. He makes speeches, statements, etc. Some orders come down to some people, but ultimately the underlings are kept guessing. This way, if someone oversteps the line, he can always disavow them or publicly criticize them to distance himself from it.

      But this might also be a product of propaganda- people taking that shit about an immanent government coup seriously. Remember that in southern Russia right now, thousands of men are crossing the border back and forth with weapons and ammunition. The area is not well controlled, and that material can “go missing.”

  1. michael baker from nova scotia canada

    if you think calmly about it, it (seems) likely it was a blow-hard, far-right russian-nationalist or something. this is so SAD. this is what happens when the rhetoric gets hyperbolic (but i think it’s stupid to think the hyperbole could have been held back – this hyperbole is natural and inevitable in tense stand-offs – that’s why it’s important not to have tense stand-offs in the first place).


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