By Rakesh Raman
Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, has destroyed the substance of democracy in Russia, muzzling the press and imprisoning his opponents, while preserving the show—everyone can vote, so long as Mr Putin wins, said The Economist in an essay on democracy.
But what if you raised your voice against Putin? The essay didn’t explain. That part is explained by the murder of Putin critic Boris Nemtsov.
Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was shot dead on February 27 in Moscow soon after announcing a rally to oppose the Putin-supported war with Ukraine.
Among multiple theories about the assassination of Nemtsov, local investigation agencies in Moscow did not rule out the possibility that he was killed by Islamic militant group that attacked French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s staff in January.
But even after a week of his assassination, the local authorities could not nab the killers, although two men were detained Saturday by the local police.
Quoting an officer of the Federal Security Service (FSB), BBC reports that Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev have been detained in connection with Nemtsov killing.
Russian investigators said the arrested men were suspected of organizing and carrying out the murder. But most are not able to digest the investigators’ claims. They want to know who ordered the murder. In a hush-hush manner, people familiar with the Russian politics point the finger at Putin.
Another Putin critic Alexei Navalny blames the Kremlin of ordering the assassination to suppress the dissenting voice of Nemtsov.
Opposition leader Ilya Yashin wrote today on his Facebook page: “В свое время Путин наградил сержанта Заура Дадаева орденом мужества. Того самого Дадаева, которого сегодня взяли за убийство Немцова?”
Facebook translates Yashin’s post as: “At the time, Putin awarded the order of courage Dadayev Zaur Sergeant. The Democracy, which today made for killing Nemtsov?”
In a recent interview, according to BBC, Nemtsov had said he feared Putin would have him killed because of his opposition to the war in Ukraine.
Putin, however, said that the people behind this crime will be held accountable.
But has Putin identified the people behind this crime? It’s not yet clear if the men arrested today by the Russian authorities have any connection with the murder.
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Photo courtesy: Wikipedia