Statement on the death of Boris Nemtsov

February 28, 2015

photo_verybig_166889“Yet another terrible page has been turned in the history we all share.”

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s statement on the assassination of Boris Nemtsov. Read the original Russian version here.

They’ve murdered Boris. A hundred meters from the Kremlin. Right in the heart of a city inundated with thousands of policemen and special services personnel.

Today, we all mourn. All of us who knew and loved this vivacious and courageous person for many years. This must be horribly difficult for his family, for his mother. My thoughts are with them; I share their grief. We have seen many leave us. But each time is still like a stab to the heart.

For a year already we have had concentrated hatred pouring out at us from every screen. And now there are many people – from the ordinary blogger all the way to president Putin – who are looking for enemies and accusing each other of provocations. What’s happened to us? Are we not all fellow citizens, people of one and the same country? We’ve got to live together side by side, after all. How can we let ourselves feel so much hate for one another?

I know that for many people Boris’s death will become so much of a Rubicon that the entire country may become different. But different in what way? Will we find ourselves standing even closer to the precipice of all-out war of everybody against everybody? Or will we find within ourselves the strength to understand that political differences are not a reason to stop acting like human beings? That by creating an atmosphere of hate, disparaging the value of human lives, and oversimplifying attitudes toward violence, we ourselves are destroying our Russia?

Yet another terrible page has been turned in the history we all share. What the next page holds is up to each and every one of us.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky