Putin’s political opponent is shot dead, but his daughter persists

Putin's political opponent is shot dead, but his daughter persists

Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have died on the front since the invasion of Ukraine began. However, there is hardly any protest in Russia against the “military operation” of President Putin. Opposition leaders have been imprisoned or, worse, killed in recent years.

Putin’s main political opponent, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead in 2015. He was shot four times in the back while walking near the Kremlin with his wife.

news hour His daughter Zhanna Nemtsova spoke. She is a journalist, activist, and founder of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, a foundation for freedom and democracy in Russia.

Public opinion is essential. But this war leaves people cold. It is much easier to deal with your life.

Zhanna Nemtsova

Nemtsova was asleep when she heard the news of her father. “I heard my mom screaming. Then she came to my room and brought the news. My first thought was: Putin. That’s what I said. Putin, one word.”

Nemtsov has been an outspoken opponent of Putin. He was a direct competitor in the late 1990s, as both fought to seize power from then-president Boris Yeltsin.

According to Nemtsova, her father was one of the few politicians in Russia who condemned the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbass. He organized mass demonstrations in Moscow in 2014.


Meanwhile, dissent in Russia was virtually eliminated. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny survived an attack, but is now in jail. Human rights organizations have described his trial as a political show trial. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, countless activists and critical journalists have been arrested.

But according to Nemtsova, there’s a bigger problem. “Public opinion is essential. But this war leaves people cold. It’s much easier to get busy with your life.”

According to her, the fact that people may be afraid should not prevent them from reflecting on their situation on their own. “They don’t care about Ukraine, but they don’t care about themselves either.”

When Putin announced mobilization, people could have gone into hiding or emigrated. “There are a lot of options. But people preferred to obey the state, go to Ukraine and die there.”

The main task

Unimaginable, says Nemtsova. “They don’t even want to fight for themselves. Putin clearly took advantage of that.”

She herself cannot return to Russia, but continues her work from abroad. For example, you support journalists with the Foundation. According to her, it is important to talk to the Russians in exile. “I think this is our most important task.”

As a Russian citizen, she feels responsible for what is happening in Ukraine, though she finds it hard to explain exactly why. “I want more responsibility and involvement from the Russians. It’s about your moral view.”

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