Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nemtsov's Murder and Putin's Disappearance

Putin has not been seen in public for 10 days now and the rumour mills are happier than a kid in a candy store. He is dead,deposed, ill, stroke, face lift, in Switzerland for the birth of his girlfriend's baby, watching reruns on TV.  The Kremlin is trying to hold the fort, claiming everything is OK but Putin has a serious meeting Monday in St Petersburg and if he doesn't show, there will be some 'splainin' to do.  It didn't help that the minutes of the meeting were accidentally read on Friday's news cast.

If this were a planned absence the Kremlin would have had a few TV-casts of meetings organized and released to look as though they were current, so it makes me wonder.

The connection to Nevtsov's murder is this:
Police arrest several people, all Chechens.  Surprise, surprise, surprise! One suspect "blows himself up with a grenade".  He may have been arrested before or more likely killed so as not to ruin the story.  One of the suspects confesses that he did it because of Nemstov's support for Charlie Hebdo.  Right!  But he is visited in prison by two human rights activists (What?  Surely you jest?  Don't call me Shirley) and recants his confession claiming torture, with visible marks to prove it.

Kadyrov, Putin's warlord of Chechnya, says the "confessed killer" is a hero, a true patriot and a dedicated Islamist. His mother says he had no interest in religion whatsoever. Kadyrov and his merry band of thugs are untouchable in Putin's Russia, even in Moscow and go around offing people Kadyrov doesn't like, including in foreign countries.

The FSB and Kadyrov are full court press enemies.  It would seem that the FSB not only know who the killer is but also have proof as to who ordered it.  Putin is between a rock and a hard place.  If he backs Kadyrov, the siloviki will take him out.  If he backs the siloviki, he loses face as his main claim to fame has been bringing "stability" to Chechnya via his man Kadyrov. So he may be simply lying low waiting to see who comes out on top or ...

For a good explanation of how palace coups occurred in Soviet Russia Cheryl Rofer has a great article here about the death of Stalin and the arrest of Beria.

If Putin is dead or overthrown, do NOT expect some miraculous turnaround in Russia's conduct either internally or externally.  It may even get worse.


  1. Curiouser and curiouser. This must be making a whole lot of people very nervous.

  2. And you say U.S. politics are crazy. Think I'll stay here.

    But as we all know Putin is back from fighting bears or tigers or whatever as of this post.


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