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Hungarian repercussions of Boris Nemtsov’s murder

March 3rd, 2015

The leading left-wing daily contends that Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was murdered because of his critical views of the Kremlin, and blasts PM Orbán for considering Putin’s illiberal democracy a role model. Conservative columnists suspect that it was not in Putin’s interest to have Nemtsov assassinated, since his death will be used by the anti-Putin camp.

Népszabadság suspects that Boris Nemtsov was murdered for his critical views of Putin’s leadership. The opposition leader was an ardent critic of Putin’s antidemocratic measures, corruption and the Ukraine war, the left-wing daily writes in an editorial and goes on to note that Nemtsov was set to reveal a new set of evidence on the Kremlin’s direct involvement in the Ukraine war. Despite the fact that the Hungarian Prime Minister expressed his condolences, he still considers Putin’s “corrupt and belligerent Russia, where opposition politicians are silenced with bullets as a successful illiberal democracy that should be followed,” Népszabadság fulminates.

In Magyar Hírlap, Gyula T. Máté contends that Putin’s critics will use the opportunity to blame the assassination on the Kremlin in order to justify anti-Russian politics. Thus, Máté speculates that it is unlikely that Putin ordered the murder of Nemtsov, since it is clear that the assassination will be used by Putin’s enemies and critics. Máté notes that Nemtsov’s murder could easily be motivated by non-political reasons including jealousy (Nemtsov’s lady friend was the former companion of an oligarch.)

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier also believes that President Putin would never commit the grave mistake of having a vocal opponent spectacularly killed. Since Nemtsov has been an advisor to anti-Russian Ukrainian personalities, pro-Russian separatists may easily have considered him a traitor, he speculates.

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