Prominent Russian opposition figure and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow Friday.
In 1997, The New York Times profiled Nemtsov after he was promoted to deputy prime minister.
Discussing the challenges the new first deputy prime minister would face in Moscow, the director of an economic consulting firm described the job as potentially “suicidal.”
“Many say it is a suicidal job and it will be his last political post,” Pavel Chichagov, the director of the Epicentre economic consulting firm, told The Times. ”There is something to that. But he has often faced resistance. And if history repeats itself you can’t exclude that he may be quite successful in government.”
According to The Times, “Nemtsov’s vow to crack down on energy and transportation monopolies, find ways to pay pensions and fight endemic corruption means he will have to confront economic quandaries few in Russia have had the courage to tackle.”
A liberal critic of Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov first became involved in Russian national politics in 1997, when he was named First Deputy Prime Minister by then-President Boris Yeltsin. Nemtsov was best known at the time as a regional governor and a notable free-market reformer.
Nemtsov himself also acknowledged the potential dangers of his appointment in Moscow.
”It is obvious that I will make a huge number of enemies among the industrial and financial oligarchy that now in many respects controls the situation in Russia,” [Nemtsov] said in a television interview quoted by The Times. ”As to what I have to do in Moscow now, that is the function of a kamikaze.”
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