In This Episode
In 2015 Putin’s number one public enemy, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed in front of the Kremlin. He was a relentless critic of Putin, corruption, and war in Ukraine. Then, he was assassinated. His daughter, journalist Zhanna Nemtsova, and co-host Ben Rhodes tell his story to find out what happened to an entire country – and what happens next. Is another Russia possible?
Ben Rhodes: So you wake up, hearing your mother yelling…
Zhanna Nemtsova: Yes, and she just, she just came into my room and she said, ‘our father was killed, and he is dead.’
Ben: What’s going through your head?
Zhanna: Putin. Putin did it.
Ben: On a cold winter evening in 2015, Vladimir Putin’s number one public enemy, Boris Nemtsov, was shot four times, right outside of the Kremlin.
News clip: Prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has been shot and killed by an unknown assailant.
Ben: I was in the White House at the time. I remember that people were in shock. Nemtsov was a big deal.
News clip: President Barack Obama calling it a brutal murder.
Ben: It felt like Russia was descending into a new darkness.
News clip: And a sharp chill of fear has ripped across Russia.
Ben: But Boris Nemtsov’s daughter refused to be silenced.
Zhanna: I’m a Russian journalist and activist. My father was Boris Nemtsov.
Ben: She had a story to tell about her father. About a man who went from trying to create democracy after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
News clip: The tricolor banner of the Russian Republic now flies over the Kremlin.
Ben: To taking on Russia’s richest and most powerful men.
News clip: They call them oligarchs, robber barons, they are buying up newspapers, airlines, oil companies.
Ben: A man who became Putin’s most outspoken opponent.
Boris Nemtsov [in Russian]: Russia and Ukraine without Putin! Glory to Russia! Glory to Ukraine!
Ben: He had a vision of a different country.
Arkady Ostrovsky: He was just so incredibly full of vitality, of life, of ideas.
Ben: Then he was thrown in jail and eventually assassinated.
News clip: Gunned down in broad daylight, four bullets in the back, in the very shadow of the Kremlin.
Ben: Under Putin Russia has become a dictatorship at war.
News clip: Our top story today, Russia has launched war Ukraine, attacking from three sides.
Ben: But Boris Nemtsov represented another path. This is the story of one man and one family fighting for another Russia, and what we can learn from their fight.
Zhanna: My life changed in one night. And there were two options for me, either to keep silent or to speak up. And I decided to speak up.
Ben: From Crooked Media, I’m Ben Rhodes.
Zhanna: I’m Zhanna Nemtsova. And this is “Another Russia.”
Ben: Coming July 25th. Listen and follow for free wherever you get your podcasts.