Russia under Vladimir Putin 'like Nazi Germany or Rwanda', warns daughter of Boris Nemtsov

Zhanna Nemtsova says she has left Moscow into exile amid threats to her life

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The Independent Online

The daughter of murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has compared the Russian state under Vladimir Putin to “Nazi Germany or Rwanda” and announced she has left the country for the West.

Zhanna Nemtsova, a TV journalist with a Moscow news station, said she had quit her job to go into exile after the fatal shooting of her father outside the walls of the Kremlin in February.

Her employer, the RBC news channel, quoted Ms Nemtsova as saying that she herself had received threats in the wake of the killing, which remains under investigation, and that this had contributed to her decision to leave.

And writing a column in the daily newspaper Vedomosti, Ms Nemtsova accused Mr Putin of running a “criminal propaganda” machine which was partly responsible for her father’s death.

She said state-controlled TV channels cast her father and other opposition politicians as “national traitors”, and wrote that “propaganda kills”. “Many of the texts of Kremlin-controlled media recall the rhetoric of African propagandists,” she said.

“Putin's information machine - similar to those in Nazi Germany and Rwanda - is using criminal methods of propaganda, and sowing hatred which generates violence and terror.”

Mr Nemtsov was shot dead as he walked along a road just outside the Kremlin on 27 February. Russian police have arrested five suspects, all Chechen, but say they have not been able to determine who ordered the killing and one suspect says he was forced to make a confession.

A friend of Mr Nemtsov, Vladimir Kara-Murza, remains in a serious condition a week after his sudden hospitalisation following suspected poisoning. Doctors said he was suffering from kidney failure, but no cause has been determined.

Mr Putin was asked about the challenges of being an opposition leader in Russia in a rare newspaper interview granted to the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Asked why it’s “so difficult to be part of the opposition in Russia”, he said: “What is so difficult about it? If the opposition proves that it can tackle the challenges faced by a district, a region or the whole country, then, I think, people will always notice it.”

Mr Putin was also asked about the perceived bias and lack of opposition coverage on state TV channels, to which he replied: “I think if they have something interesting to say, they will be interviewed more often.”

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