Our sad welcoming word. The tribute to Boris Nemtsov.

Boris Nemtsov is not alive. He is no longer with us… It is impossible to believe such words. Forgive us if we can’t refer to him in the past tense. Our sense of shock and humanity won’t allow it.

He is one of the most vigorous, charismatic, charming, magnetic and passionate personalities in Russian politics. He is straight, honest and incorruptible. He is a very bright star. His energy and his enthusiasm constantly move us forward. He has always lived on the edge. He never gives up. He is one of the few free persons in our enslaved country. He is undoubtedly a grand historic figure. He will always be alive in our hearts, in the cause he believed in and that we promise to continue.

Boris Nemtsov was shot in the back on February 27, 2015. Strangely, those words are easier to believe in than the words he is not alive. Easier, because it’s a shock but not a surprise that Putin’s Russia assassinates its opponents and because a mafia state operates like that. We remember Listiev, Yushenkov, Starovoitova, Politkovskaya, Shchekochikhin, Litvinenko, Estimirova, Magnitsky and others. We let the regime take us out one by one. When is our red line, our rubicon?

Isn’t it time for the Russian opposition and civil society to stand up and confront the corrupt and criminal regime? It is  enough to keep silent, pretend we are fine or act in half-measures. Boris has devoted himself fully to the fight for our freedom.

He has had a dream of a Free Russia. Let’s combine and multiply our efforts! Our country is owned by a gang of crooks and thieves, murderers of people like Boris and thereby the killing of our dignity and future.

The loss of Boris is huge and incomprehensible. He is a hero. He is a martyr. But let’s not let his death be in vain. Let’s make Russia Free. He wanted it. We deserve it. Let’s take our country back.

The person, time and location of shooting were not a coincidence. Boris’s shooting was symbolic. He was one of the few consolidating figures in the Russian opposition. He was an opposition figure of a global level.

He was a visionary. He was killed coldly near the Kremlin and on the eve of a big protest rally. In our long, Russian history our rulers liked to execute their rivals near the Kremlin. It’s a clear signal to all the dissenters: leave or you’ll be in jail or murdered. It’s a clear signal to the entire country, to its law-enforcement structures and to the public as well. Like a metastasis it will leak from Moscow to the regions: it’s ok to get rid of your political opponents. It nourishes the atmosphere of hatred and intolerance. It destroys our society.

We have established the Free Russia Foundation because we have a strong vision of Russia After Putin, the vision of the country that still has hope for a democratic future. We have started it because we deeply understand how bad the situation is in our homeland and how strong the pressure is that the government places on any person with a free mind.

This hope is fading from day to day. If we don’t fight for changes today, it might be too late tomorrow.

Russians, wake up! Let’s build a successful society and stop being a global threat, invading neighbors and killing our own people. The murder of Boris is a bitter loss for all of us — those of us, like him, are dreaming of a Free Russia.

Let’s make Russia free! Join us today! Together we can make it happen.

The Free Russia Foundation team



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