Stephen Hill sees Hitler's techniques in Putin's actions
The Moscow drive-by assassination of charismatic opposition leader Boris Nemtsov at 11.00pm on Friday in Moscow, within sight of the blood-red outer walls of the Kremlin, was described by Vladimir Putin, safely inside the Kremlin, as a 'provocation' – provocative like Nemtsov's TV show, with its calls for political reform, which was closed down by the 'authorities'.
Nemtsov had just given a radio interview where he described Putin's foreign policy as 'mad and aggressive'. He was working on a report that proved the Russian army's involvement in Ukraine, and was about to lead a rally against Putin on the following Sunday. In Putin's Russia, it was his time to die.
A passer-by of the murder scene, interviewed by Al-Jazeera News, said Russia was now fast becoming a fascist state. That has been obvious ever since the opportunistic manner of Putin's re-appropriation of the Crimea in 2014, if not before – ever since his fixing of the last election and the moronic imprisoning of the anti-Putin Pussy Riot girls, who sang the truth about him, in a church.
Russia is about on the same page as Hitler's Germany in the mid-1930s: for liberals, now read Boris Nemtsov; for Sudeten-Deutschland, now read the Donbas Oblast of East Ukraine; for Munich, now read Minsk.
Just like the Volk, or Fritz Reck-Malleczewen's 'Mass-Man' of the Nazi era, the ordinary Russian people, buoyed up by foreign gains and the righting of 'historic wrongs' over Crimea, are mightily behind their leader and against the West, as Putin announces that on-shoring rearmament is the main thrust of his budget.
Prince Charles was right when he observed in 2014 in Canada that Putin was a nasty little regurgitated version of Hitler.
One major reverse, however, and Putin's a dead-man walking. Putin's personal fate is now bound up with military advances: deliver conquests and he will be an (increasingly closeted) untouchable; suffer a major reverse, military or economic, and there will be latter-day Claus von Stauffenbergs queuing up to do him in, even within the Kremlin itself.
Putin's problem is appointing a successor who will give him the Big Pardon he will so desperately crave so he can enjoy his own immense kleptocratic gains, stored up in his Rossya Bank.
Medvedev doesn't look like that man, not the way Putin on camera tells him what he is meant to be doing and how to do it, as if he didn't know. He looks like a wooden wind-up trainee-butler, who hasn't yet learnt, and still can't understand quite why, fish-knives aren't quite the thing.
Putin is now unmasked as the new Global Gangster, even as he assumes responsibility to lead the investigation into the Nemtsov murder – as if he didn't know already: qui s'excuse, s'accuse.
We now know why he ordered his silovikis, armed snipers, to shoot dead some 80 innocent protestors in the Ukrainian Maidan Revolution last autumn: he was terrified that it would spread to Moscow and unseat him. You can see why democracy is to be encouraged in these dangerous times.