CIA veterans finger Putin in Nemtsov assassination

Newsweek reports: Four shots, expertly placed. A perfectly timed getaway car. Nearby security cameras turned off “for repair.”

The murder of prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, say CIA veterans, many with long experience in Moscow, was obviously a professional job, inspired, if not explicitly ordered, by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s allies and Russian-controlled media, rejecting any state hand in the affair, have floated a variety of alternate villains responsible for the murder of Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and an outspoken critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. They range from fellow reformers who wanted to create “a martyr” to personal rivals to “fascists” in Ukraine.

CIA veterans with long experience with Russia were having none of it. Nearly all spoke only on terms of anonymity to discuss such sensitive issues.

“Clearly the Putin government either ordered this, or accepted it, as in the case of Thomas Becket – ‘Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?’” says one former top CIA operative, alluding to the plea attributed to Henry II, England’s 12th-century monarch, for someone to kill the archbishop of Canterbury.

The absence of any nearby close-circuit video recordings of Nemtsov’s murder, which occurred just a few hundreds yards outside a Kremlin wall just after midnight on Friday, Feb. 28, also suggests official complicity in the crime, he and other CIA veterans say.

Government-controlled media has said that all the nearby security cameras were turned off for repairs or pointed the wrong way when Nemtsov was killed by a lone gunman, who then jumped into a passing car and sped off. [Continue reading…]

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