The news coming out of
Russia could not be stranger. The
confessed assassin of Boris Nemtsov is visited by a human rights activist and
claims he was tortured into a confession. Intelligence services first claim
that Kremlin surveillance cameras were down for maintenance at the time of the
assassination. Next, we hear that the cameras picked up images of the assassins
near the crime scene. The puppet leader of Chechnya praises the confessed (but confession withdrawn)
killer as a pious Muslim, but his mother says he has no interest in religion. Rumors
or a “shooting list” are laughed off by Putin’s official spokesman. Putin
himself has not been seen in public since March 8 and apparently will skip an
important meeting in Kazakhstan
– for reasons of illness? The head of the security services is making
announcements about the progress of the case instead of the usual Investigation
Instead of a neat roll out of confessions, quick sentencing, and disappearance into prison we have denials, different versions of events, and apparent turf wars. The name of the actual organizer of the killing is circulating on social media.
Has the Nemtsov murder caused Kremlin politics to spin out of control? What is going on?