Wikileaks: Nemtsov advises American Embassy, Russia needs a crisis to topple Putin

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March 4, 2015

Alexey Pushkov

Translated by Kristina Rus


Originally recorded in 2010-2011

“Komsomolskaya Pravda” has published Wikileaks cables regarding the meetings of Russian human rights defenders and representatives of the right opposition with the representatives of the American administration.

These meetings took place at the American Embassy in Moscow. 

The cables give a lot of food for thought, and we would like to share some of it with you.

One of the cables talks about a meeting which took place on January 14, 2010 at the American Embassy in Moscow between Obama’s representative in Russia Michael McFaul and Russian human rights defenders.  

This was not the first such meeting with the leadership of American administration.

Such meetings occurred earlier, for example, with Hillary Clinton were the human rights defenders expectedly complained about human rights abuses and characteristically insisted on the hardening of American policy towards Russian leadership. 

In another cable as of January 19, 2010, under the code name “Moscow 000305”, the American ambassador, John Byerle [2008-2012],  informs the State Department about a meeting of the same McFaul with the leaders of the right opposition: Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and also a representative of the party “The Right Deed” Georgy Goft.   

What was the topic of this discussion?

They discussed conditions which would ensure the departure of Vladimir Putin. 

The American ambassador wrote about the position of the Russian right:

“The Russian right opposition agreed that the goal of the opposition during the next two years, should be the work to prevent the return of Vladimir Putin to the post of the president. But according to their opinion only an emergency situation would bring about his demise.”

According to McFaul, there is no other way, because most of the civil society in Russia “is still asleep”, and most of citizens of the country are content with current situation. 

Let’s make some conclusions.

The conclusion number one: the leaders of the radical right opposition  are discussing a change of Russian government with American representatives, which is scandalous in itself and causes a lot of questions. We could have guessed about it, but now it received a documentary evidence.

Conclusion number two: in order to achieve their goals, the radical right opposition needs an emergency situation in the country.

So while our country and our people have not yet recovered from a constant “emergency situation in 1990’s”, when the right and Boris Yeltsin were in power, as the opposition wants to plunge the country into another emergency situation. 

At his time, Boris Nemtsov putting dressed in an orange tie supported Yushenko and Timoshenko in Kiev, and declared that he was envious of the Ukrainian people: “Thanks to the Orange Maidan they will have democracy and happiness all around. Only if we could have the same!” – dreamed Nemtsov, holding his breath.

The results of the Orange democracy are well known – almost five years of emergency situation in Ukraine, economic collapse, a sudden drop of standard of living. 

Now Nemtsov wants the same for Russia in order to return to power.

In the face of McFaul, the Russian Right found a faithful listener.

“Deputinization must come from Russia itself” – told them Michael McFaul. [so now we know the purpose of his appointment for ambassador to Russia in 2012 – KR]

Although the American president does not openly support the civil society in Russia [he did support it, but not OPENLY], as the members of opposition would like to, he completely supports democratic reforms.

This looks like a direct coordination of the line of our opposition and American administration.

The representative of US president practically tells the right: you start first, and we will support you.

What can you say, this is the style of our right – to appeal to the US with the hope that the almighty America will either help them keep the power or bring them to power.

Lets remember who was the main outside support of the government of Boris Yeltsin and his “reformers” – of course, America. The same goes for other opposition members, such as Casparov and Kasyanov, who keep on shouting to the United States “Help, help!”

And of course the fact of such meetings and discussions at the American Embassy in Moscow speaks for itself.

“Komsomolskaya Pravda” rightfully notes:

“It is hard to imagine that the representatives of Democrats or Republicans would run to the Russian Embassy in Washington DC and tearfully beg; “Please be harder on our government” and without blinking formulate the task: “In order to come to power we need a collapse!”

American politicians don’t do that as they consider themselves first of all a part of their country. But our right as evident during the Yeltsyn times, when they were in power, constantly and enthusiastically relied on the outside forces in order to subject their country to foreign models and foreign interests.

The citizens of Russia have realized this quickly and refused to support them, because even without the Wikileaks they understand very well, that the radical right in Russia is not so much Russian as it is American.

And this speaks for itself.

Kristina Rus:


Although the Russian opposition has christened itself as “The Union of the Right Forces”, it is still commonly known as “the liberals” – this is characteristic of the Russian political spectrum.


It is easy to judge about a utility of any politician by the reaction to his death in the Western press and the State Department, from which it gets it’s daily instructions. 


If they declare him a great loss to his country, you can bet he is a great loss to the State Department. 


However, it is unclear if the State Department understood that Nemtsov was unelectable, as he had admitted in his wiretaps: “I am from the nineties – it’s like a sentence”, when Nemtsov was #3 in the Yelsyn governmnet as a Vice Prime Minister. It is quite possible that Nemtsov realized that he could make more money working for the US interests, then in Russian politics, and he has a 90 million ruble apartment near the Kremlin to show for it. 


Nemtsov’s unelectablility is another argument for the theory of a “sacrificial lamb”, as Nemtsov was the most likely figure for such sacrifice, as he had no chances to become a Russian president with his shady past from the nineties and a rating of 2-4%. 


Ironically he himself was the mastermind of the idea that “only an emergency situation” can shake up Russian politics, and his murder falls into that category. 


That he was active in the opposition for a decade without any political chances may also speak for the fact that it simply became a lucrative business. His friend Irina Khakamada, said that Nemtsov lived of the money of the sponsors, which was plentiful. He also admitted in his wiretaps, that money was not an issue. Offering to fly another activist for an urgent meeting in a helicopter was not unusual, as was his high roller lifestyle and patronage of elite escort services.


Nemtsov made an excellent agent of the State Department, as he was brilliant (becoming a governor of Nizhny Novgorod at 32 years old) and was not burdened with too many moral principles.


Nemtsov’s eloquence and charisma made it easy for him to persuade people, and only his actions (such as marching with  Ukrainian nationalists in Odessa after Odessa massacre and a complete disregard for the human rights of fellow Russians in Eastern Ukraine – he preferred to be obsessed about counting how many times Putin changed his watches) would reveal his true intentions to the outside observer.  


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