Nemtsov Steps Up
It seems that Garry Kasparov may at last be evidencing enough good judgment to step into the background of the “Solidarity” opposition movement and let Boris Nemtsov take the leading role. As a result, we’ve seen Nemtsov in public far more often at opposition rallies, and we’ve even seen Nemtsov elbow Kasparov aside on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, as he recently did while excoriating the Kremlin for its failed policies in Chechnya — a failure he believes is leading to a third regional war.
Nemtsov is a figure far more palatable to the Russian public than Kasparov, who is tainted by his connection to the West and by his long absence from Russia. Nemtsov has served as an effective regional governor and in the Kremlin under Yeltsin. His loyalties and bona fides cannot be questioned by a serious person. Nor can his intelligence. Working with his sidekick Vladimir Milov, Nemtsov has authored a series of white paperson the Putin years, translated by this blog into English, have dealt a devastating blow to Putin’s credibility. The fact that the Kremlin has aggressively sought to censor the publications is all the proof you need of how excellent they really are. Garry Kasparov can make no such claims.
There is no doubt that Nemtsov, flawed though he may be, is the best the Russian opposition has to offer at this moment. Therefore, he should be supported. He made a serious bid for the mayoralty of his native Sochi in the last election cycle, bravely facing down threats and attacks of various kinds throughout the process even though he knew he would never be allowed to win. He has not, to be sure, shown that he is ready to lay down his life for Russia by saying the things that really need to be said in places where lots of Russians can hear them (few read the Wall Street Journal), but the craven cowardice of the Russian people makes it very hard to ask that sacrifice of anyone. Are they really worth the ultimate sacrifice? Who can say.
History makes it clear that tyranny like that presented by the Putin KGB regime is only overcome by a movement led by men and women who are willing to risk their lives. History has shown again and again, from George Washington to Mohandas Gandhi to Martin Luther King and, yes, even the Bolshevik revolutionaries, that even the most awesome power can by laid low with determination and courage. Whether Nemtsov, unlike so many who have come before him, has that courage remains to be seen.
What’s clear is that the leaders of the Western democracies must rally toNemtsov’s aid. He should be given a serious knew level of recognition, invited to Western capitals, included in the caluculation of Russia policy. Our leaders must make it clear that they stand behind democratic values and are prepared to fight for them, even if a vast swath of the Russian population is not.
Our security, as much as theirs, depends on it.
I think Nemtsov should be given the benefit of a doubt here when its said he hasn’t shown he’s ready to lay down his life. Good grief, I’m actually surprised the man IS still alive from some of the things he has written and said. Also, he may be a bit more politically saavy than to go at the Kremlin as if its the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’. Russia doesn’t need more dead heros, it needs heros alive and kicking. Getting your head blown off, just to show you can tick off the Kremlin is not sound judgment.
LR, you are correct in saying that the West needs to support people like Nemtsov; and Koslowski (sp?). But it is easy for a western politician to lament a dead lawyer, a butchered journalist, a poisoned ex-KGB officer; than to raise holy hell about someone who is making life difficult for a repressive regime. Putting the heat on western politicians is a must; those in Russia going up against the Kremlin probably have a darn good idea of the risks they are taking.
Nemtsov is a political corpse. The really smart ones even the anti-establishment Putin haters are still in Moscow and getting funded. Kasparov is overshadowed by Karpov a respected member of the public chamber who knows when to keep his mouth shut.
Actually there seems to be little difference between Russia and US. The KGB did their homework when is came to understanding how Americas corporate ruling class system works.BTW, have you noticed that Michigan is looking more and more like Siberia every day?
Hey, “donnyess”, do you yourself understand what you wrote??? You should clean up inside your brain… I doubt it will help you but still..
barb, Nemtsov and Kasparov survive only in that Pootie is smart enough to allow a 1% dissent faction to survive for the western audience otherwise Nemtsov and others in the opposition would have been exterminated by now. Same old USSR bs.
The other part of the Russian equation is the herdable ignorant Russian masses that feed off of the ultra-national Pootie swill and distrust what we in the west understand as a democratic civil society.
Stupidity can’t be corrected.
Pootie’s best brain trust are the likes of donnyess.
Looming is China the other ruthless and overpopulated totalitarian state which will own large tracts of Russia in the coming decades. The sick trajectory of Russian demographics and human capital failure all but cements the Chinese as future overlords.
What kind of threat to the regime this opposition is, anyway?
A few dozen/hundred (there were never several thousand) people get in the street, protest peacefully for a while, then OMON moves in to remove them without any problem.
If someone really makes “trouble”, like when Yevlovyev actually proved the Ingush “elections” were totally falsified (in fact they were boycotted), it’s another matter, and so he had an “accident” (the accident of being shot in the head while in police custody).
So the Solidarity folks in Moscow are actually only the conscience of Russia and not a real political opposition like the original Polish Solidarity, a mass movement of millions, was.
Yes, kind of like the dissidents of the Soviet times, who not always were kept caged or exiled.
All this except Chechnya, which is truly a Stalinist-like totalitarian state where there’s no legal opposition to Kadyrov at all – even from pro-Moscow Chechens, as the rival factions there were completely destroyed by lethal force and intimidation.
And the ones who were always pro-Moscow (and never rebels) now live in exile in Moscow, just like some of the former Afghan communists. Funny that, eh?
Btw “doing it right”, the 25th anniversary of founding of the original Solidarity movement:
And also btw Poland and Walesa, Putin’s plane just crash-landed in Poland at the Lech Walesa airport.
What the….!!!!! What is Putin going to SAY about the start of WWII to the Poles. Is he going to read the Molotov-Ribbontrop(?) agreement which basically screwed Poland from both sides? Which loose light bulb in Poland asked this jackass to show up?!!!!
Robert you have a knack for finding some of the most …interesting pieces here. Please correct me if I got the name of the pact wrong—I’m going from memory here.
Nemtsov and Kasparov both have zero influence, an average Russian takes them like a couple of foreign-funded Jews (and who they really are). So even if I were Pootie, I wouldn’t care about ’em at all.
You RuSSians are sick fascists, women and children-murderers. It’s very nice to see how you suffer with your economic crisis. Everybody’s laughing at you.
Tells you all you need to know about 77 per cent of Russian population
Well dildohead is a Greco-Russian fascist.
And Russia has more neo-nazi’s than the rest of the world put together.
Putin hs been a disaster for Russia. You roll the dice and hope for the best. This time Russia rolled snake eyes.