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News Russian opposition leader, a Putin critic shot dead

  1. Feb 28, 2015 #1
    Boris Nemtsov was shot in the head 4 times.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2015 #2

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    Pour encourager les autres.
  4. Feb 28, 2015 #3
    For reference:Physics Forums Global Guidelines
    All posts must be in English . :smile:
  5. Feb 28, 2015 #4
  6. Feb 28, 2015 #5

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    Deja vu. Ipso facto. Chutzpah. Avatar. Kindergarten. Libretto. Smorgasbord.

    The phrase first appeared in Voltaire's Candide. It means "to encourage the others". The point is that it is not about Nemtsov per se (oh, there I go again) but this was intended to discourage people from following in his footsteps.

  7. Mar 1, 2015 #6
    I think that we perceive it too much through Western perspective where ordering to assassinate a political opponent is a big deal. From Putin's perspective it does not change much. I mean that if he any day would have to face a tribunal, he would have to answer for Russian apartment bombings of 1999, war crimes from Second Chechen War or recent de facto Russian-Ukraine war. One assassination more or less... doesn't matter.

    Anyway, I run on my computer trivial regression model (just time as explanatory variable + Russian declining currency reserves from last half year; R^2 of 98%). After updating it today, the line reaches zero at 2nd November 2016.
  8. Mar 1, 2015 #7


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    Who was Boris Nemtsov and why was he murdered?
    http://news.yahoo.com/boris-nemtsov-why-murdered-194722631.html [Broken]
    Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was fatally gunned down in Moscow Friday. A look at some of the leading theories by a Russia expert who knew Nemtsov.

    Certainly, anything coming out of the Kremlin is dubious at best.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Mar 1, 2015 #8
    I would think this would lead to more protests and another person will just take his place. You can't stop a public movement by killing an icon. You just make a martyr.
  10. Mar 1, 2015 #9


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    Except for ... much of the last five thousand years or so of human history where public movements are annihilated, or the threat of same terrorizes people into inaction.
    Spartacus, 6000 crucified.
    Stalin and The Great Terror
    Hitler's Night of the Long Knives
    Khmer Rouge assassination of very popular figures, e.g. Pan Ron, Ros Serey Sothe, Sinn Sisamouth
  11. Mar 2, 2015 #10
    Does Kremlin Web Brigade count as official Kremlin version? If yes that officially this guy was shot down to frame Putin or because he took money from the West, but failed to deliver promised revolution.

    Anyway, more seriously his last interview:

    Anyway, in different one that I've seen only in Polish translation there were a few new things:
    -that Crimea annexation medal actually as start of operation 20th January, while Yanukovych fled on 22/23rd;
    -in Minsk accord there is a promise to withdraw Tornado-S launchers which are only owned by Russian army.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  12. Mar 2, 2015 #11
    Watching these people here automatically assume Putin killed Nemetsov shows the remarkable power of constant propaganda mixed with ignorance. IMO Westerners who follow this conflict are just as brainwashed as the Russians who follow it. Kind of interesting considering most people here have a college education, but I guess I am not surprised. When I first read about Goebbel's take on propaganda as a teenager, I thought he was full of ****. I thought: "How can so many people be tricked by such obvious lies? No way they actually believed those absurdities, they must have known". Though now I understand where he was coming from.

    Honestly, take a pause to think guys. Putin is not some kind of Hitler/Stalin who rules thru fear. He has to have the support of the Russian people to rule, and he won't have that support by actively murdering the opposition and sewing chaos. Particularly not an opposition that is completely toothless and regarded by most Russians as incompetent.
  13. Mar 2, 2015 #12


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    Who's propaganda, Putin's? Yes, our reaction based on the importance/effort Putin places on propaganda is to conclude he's behind it. I think its a reasonable conclusion.

    But of course, that's not what you mean. You are implying western propaganda is brainwashing us. Problems:
    1. That's a lot of separate countries you are referring to as if they have a unified message.

    2. Unlike Russia, most do not have state run media, which makes it difficult to promulgate a unified message even in a single country.

    3. Goodwin's law fail: Hitler did not, by and large, rule with fear. That's the whole point of the power of propaganda. Putin rules with propaganda. He gets high approval ratings despite a floundering economy and international crimes because of propaganda.
  14. Mar 2, 2015 #13
    Reasonable? OK, then how would it help Putin's propaganda to publicly slay his opponents? :rolleyes: I mean, lots of people will be blaming him for the murder, and that is hardly something a politician wants to be blamed for.

    And yeah, most of Russia's media runs propaganda on Ukraine because united Russia and its allies controls it. Most of the media in the west (with many strong exceptions), on the other hand, run propaganda (on Russia) mostly because that's what westerners want to hear. Running stories on the threat of evil villain Putin is a safe bet that sells. Why does it sell? Cold war legacy, inflammatory rhetoric from politicians (using the 'common enemy' card means easy voters), old stereotypes and so on.
  15. Mar 2, 2015 #14
    You can,
    If you kill enough :smile:

    In Sovie Union all public movement were stopped by killing leaders?.. :)
  16. Mar 2, 2015 #15
    Sends a pretty powerful message to other opponents

    You really think Putin cares? He has total control of the country. What people suspect and what will be pumped through Russian media is totally different. Putin has light years distance between the murder and himself.
  17. Mar 2, 2015 #16
    Following problems:
    -before his death Nemtsov said that he is afraid of being assassinated by Putin (was he also brainwashed by Western media?);
    -Putin already used assassination as his weapon against his opponents, like Litvienko;
    -Putin credibility after his lies concerning no Russian troops in Crimea / east Ukraine (not mentioning one downed Malaysian plane) is actually lower than credibility of creationist blogs;
    -Putin's paid trolls are already spreading on Polish forums quite funny conspiracy theories, thus it looks like covering up crime.

    (actually you pay for covering up this crime with your own taxes, so should be happy about it :D )

    Yes, Ockham razor. I assume the most likely scenario.

    Wrong. There is no symmetry here. Western media were giving for a long while Russians a benefit of doubt.
  18. Mar 2, 2015 #17

    "-before his death Nemtsov said that he is afraid of being assassinated by Putin (was he also brainwashed by Western media?);"

    Irrelevant point, but guess what, after that tweet anyone who wanted to hurt Putin could kill him. As for Litvinenko, it is not known who killed him and why, but even if the FSB killed him it was not because Litvinenko BSed about Putin. It would be because he betrayed state secrets.

    So you are saying Putin, who built up his support base by creating order and fighting crime, benefits from killing random opposition leaders. Why? Because apparently people will become too afraid to openly oppose him. Next you claim Russians will not suspect him of killing Nemtsov because propaganda.

    OK, let us deal with this logically.

    What would Putin gain from this murder?
    * Silencing a nobody-opposition.
    * Instilling some degree of fear in the ranks of an already dead opposition.

    What would Putin lose from this murder?
    * His morality - nobody has claimed Putin is a psychopath.
    * Massive media carnage, hate from the west.
    * Increased suspicion.
    * Loss of order in society.
    * Risk of getting caught (what if somebody talks and links the murder to the Kremlin?) that would spell his end.

    Are you SERIOUSLY thinking people will not suspect Putin because of propaganda? Guess what, Russian society is full of speculation about who did it, and there is not a shortage of extremists blaming Putin directly. Do you realize how pointless it is to start murdering liberal opposition when you have an above 70% approval rating, while the entire liberal opposition combined cannot even get to 10%? Do you realize how obvious it would be that he would become the #1 suspect after the murder? Do you realize what would happen to him if he was caught (hint: lynching)? And, importantly, do you think it would be intelligent to undermine the main reason for your success: imposition of law and order by murdering the opposition?

    The entire thought is ridiculous. It's about as likely as the CIA being behind it to sow chaos and hurt Putin.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  19. Mar 2, 2015 #18


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    There is no surer way to silence someone than to kill them.
    What people? By killing (or otherwise silencing) the loud opposition voices he eliminates potential loud dissenting voices and (hopefully) scares the softer voices into remaining silent.
    I know at least part of that is a typo, but can't figure out what you mean. Are you saying that Russia has a coherent, government propaganda machine to counter the nonexistent propaganda machine of the West?
    Again, given the lack of central control, a coherent message would be very difficult to coordinate. It would have to happen by pure luck. And if you really think there is any significant desire in the west to return to the Cold War....well, I guess Putin is doing a good job of that.

    I, personally, much preferred the relative peace of the 1990s to both the Cold War and Putin's attempt to resurrect it.
  20. Mar 2, 2015 #19
    You diminish the power of both of these way to much. Nemtsov also wasn't a nobody.

    If Putin was rational leader doing everything in the best interest of his country we'd see a vastly different track record. Putin doesn't care what the west thinks. Get that through your head :) Putin has zero chance of getting caught. Dissent from KGB is a death sentence itself and even if someone did talk, the Russian media machine can handle it easily.
  21. Mar 2, 2015 #20
    You know, this invasion on Ukraine was not specially rational if we think about it. I don't mean that Gruz 200 that returned home, because Russian life for Russian rulers is not worth much. I mean lost money and price per hectare of conquered area. However, Putin did it and turned Ukrainians from moderately friendly nation in to hard line enemies. I haven't foresee that because it is simply too stupid.

    Same with putting embargo on food for his own people was another brilliant move. Do you appreciate higher food price? I hope so. Maybe he wanted to make a show off and does not care about his subjects?

    Answer is quite simple. Because if sanctions and low oil price keep in 2 years Russia would be without money and potential opposition leaders would be able to take advantage of that.

    What if we assume that he is not a mastermind? Yes, which other type of person would behave in this way? An overly aggressive gangsta with KGB experience? He would be able to shock and outmanoeuvre, wimpy West from time to time which such outlaw behaviour. Fits so far all observation better, than mastermind doesn't it?
  22. Mar 2, 2015 #21
    If you view things from the most biased angle possible, and ignore any arguments that oppose you, sure. You would reach the conclusion that Putin is a 'KGB gangsta'.

    Take the food thing for example: The prices have risen, yes. But what have the counter-sanctions done to discourage western sanctions, and support Russian domestic agriculture? Or what about Ukraine? Do you think the only point with wars is "profit per hectare", and not things like geopolitics, answers to provocations, preservation of self interests, emotions etc. ?

    BTW it might be interesting to note that I'm not a big fan of Putin, really. It just appears to me that the posts and assumptions made here are ridiculous.
  23. Mar 2, 2015 #22
    Which were arguments against it?

    To discourage Western sanctions - nothing. (In Poland we joke that Putin's sanctions are more harmful for Russia that anything we can offer)
    In Russia? I don't have hard data. But my guess is that nowadays it is not a time to invest in Russia. You know now there is still, too high risk of expropriating, as Vladimir Yevtushenkov may tell you. As an economist I'd say that under high risk you invest only to rip very high profits. And sanctions could be lifted next year, while many investment (like fruit tree) would need a few years. So not much profits.

    My guess? Dacha food production would go up a bit. For a mastermind plan rather not impressive.

    Honestly speaking yes, just one sometimes use terms like "geopolitics" to cover up that he mean "cheap hectares but in ten years".

    And that geopolitics part is where he failed miserably. Instead of starting a war with Ukraine, he could congratulate the new gov, raise gas price, ask for loan back and see how Ukrainians quarrel with each other, implement austerity and pro-Russian candidate wins in next election.

    Or his main "ally" is China which also believe in zones of influence for great powers, just its natural zone of influence is in Siberia. Russia already have simmering conflict in Caucasus and "friendly" China, so I consider starting this confrontation and getting additional enemy as something as "brilliant" as W. Bush invasion on Iraq.

    You know Putin could have been a new mutation of Peter I or even contemporary Sakashvil. Reform his country and so on. He wasted times of expensive oil. And now capital poor, land rich country is trying to capture a bit more land, keeping loss generating Crimea.

    "Emotions"? Cool, it seems that finally we have a partial agreement.
  24. Mar 2, 2015 #23
    Concerning logic of this assassination, there is one interesting idea:

  25. Mar 2, 2015 #24


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  26. Mar 3, 2015 #25
    Irrelevant point? :D :D :D

    Honestly speaking I thought that irrelevant point would be the result of the whole investigation. Because that would be Putin chasing Putin.

    Explain me this logic, because it's quite interesting. "As for Litvinenko, it is not known who killed him and why". Litvienko had no doubts. And you know, such Polonium is hard to buy.

    No, I mean seriously. That what you say simply touches wilful blindness.

    In Putin's Russia something like truth does not exist, doesn't it?

    Seems that Guardian reached that conclusion:

    No, clearly I'm not saying that he "who built up his support base by creating order and fighting crime".

    He built base by:
    - being lucky to have high enough oil prices to pay salaries /pensions
    - burning Chechenya to ground (and presumably blowing up a few buildings before)
    - consolidating state power, kept any other center of power in line (including oligarchs which is not s
    - took over effectively all media to be able to brainwash his subject

    What would Putin lose from this murder?
    Already perceived so from Chechen war and his infamous infiltration times.
    By same logic he shouldn't have invaded Ukraine. Anyway, he is not hated for that one assasination but for more than 5000 dead in east Ukraine.
    But he reduced price of vodka.
    As you see - no result.
    In civilized country - yes. But in Russia? He so far pretends quite well not downing one Malaysian plane.

    Don't you think if when brainwashed masses would immediately try to believe that Putin is innocent, then shooting a few more people is not so big deal.

    Anyway, you mentioned this "we don't know" concerning Litvienko. Does this relativism work both ways? I mean in cases where it's for example being claimed that Chcechen separatist did it, while are you ruling out Putin and his KGB buddies? Or you believe in relativism only in one way?
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