In 2014, a year before Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader and Vladimir Putin critic, was assassinated in central Moscow in late February 2015, the outspoken politician sat down with Anthony Bourdain for a discussion of power and politics.
Unsurprisingly, Nemtsov hones in immediately on the difficult task of currying favor with President Putin, and what it’s like to be distinctly outside of his good graces.
“If you have a good relationship with Putin and his people around…. It doesn’t matter,” said Nemtsov. “You have a chance to raise money, to be successful, you know, to buy real estate in the south of France, or in Switzerland; to open accounts in Swiss banks, et cetera. But… if something happens between you and Putin, or you and a governor, you will be in jail. It’s very easy.”
Nemtsov, who spent his career actively criticizing Putin and considered it his patriotic duty to challenge the regime, explained the key to the President’s success. “Corruption… is a problem for the United States, for Canada, for the United Kingdom, et cetera. For Putin’s Russia, this is a system. This is not a problem.”