NB - Here's a more sinister side to the post-modern style of relativism: Putin’s comment that he is taking the investigation under his personal control doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Rather, the Kremlin’s actions suggest that the chief goal now is to confuse the Russian public. The numerous “versions” of Nemtsov’s murder – from love tiff to Charlie Hebdo-inspired Islamists to “provocation” – are part of a sophisticated postmodern media strategy. How is one supposed to know which one is actually true? In fact, the aim is to blur what is true with what is not, to the point that the truth disappears. Russia Today, the Kremlin propaganda channel, uses the same methods for western audiences. Its boss, Margarita Simonyan, argues that there is no such thing as truth, merely narrative. Russia’s narrative is just as valid as the “western narrative”, she argues. In this cynical relativist world of swirling competing versions, nothing is really true. And yet someone shot and killed Boris Nemtsov. He was alive. Now he is dead.
Has Russia become a criminalised state?
Was Boris Nemtsov killed because in Russia opposition figures are deemed traitors?
(NB: We may note that the Indian government has recently taken to denouncing critics in the same manner - DS)
In recent months, Nemtsov had voiced growing fears that he might be killed. In an interview with the FT last Monday, he said Putin was distinctly capable of murder, saying of him: “He is a totally amoral human being. Totally amoral. He is a Leviathan.” Nemtsov went on: “Putin is very dangerous. He is more dangerous than the Soviets were. In the Soviet Union, there was at least a system, and decisions were taken by the politburo. Decisions about war, decisions to kill people, were not taken by Brezhnev alone, or by Andropov either, but that’s how it works now.”