Russian Media Reports Suggest Variety of Responses to Murder of Boris Nemtsov

Protestors march near the site of Boris Nemtsov's murder. / AP

Kremlin-aligned media outlets were quick to deflect blame for the murder of Boris Nemtsov, a leading figure in the Russian opposition, from Vladimir Putin and his allies, claiming that killing Nemtsov does not benefit Putin and presenting other possible alternative explanations for the murder.

This One Paragraph Explains the (Partially Self-Inflicted) Tragedy of Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier retreats. (AP)

The situation in Ukraine right now is pretty grim. The European-brokered “ceasefire” is joke, even if the Obama administration continues to hold out hope. Russian separatists launched an offensive against the town of Debaltseve, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat. The State Department, for its part, boldly affirmed the Ukrainian government’s “sovereign right” to surrender their territory to foreign aggressors. How comforting.

Obviously, Putin deserves most of the blame for the carnage in eastern Ukraine. If he wanted to the fighting to stop, it would. But the Ukrainian people are also suffering from the corruption and incompetence of their own government and military. This one passage from a riveting Washington Post report on the Ukrainian battalion charged with defending Debaltseve captures the depravity of the situation:

Obama Administration Affirms Ukraine’s ‘Right’ to Surrender Territory to Putin

Bros gonna bro. (AP)

Despite a European-brokered “ceasefire,” the war in eastern Ukraine rages on. Russian separatists continue their assault on the city of Debaltseve, forcing the Ukrainian army to withdraw its troops. And yet, the U.S. State Department continues to hold out hope that the ceasefire will work. “We don’t consider it dead,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “We still need time for the agreement to work through.”

But that’s not even the most outrageous aspect of the Obama administration’s position on Ukraine. This is:

Russia Threatens Nukes in Crimea

A view of Bakhchisarai, a city in central Crimea / AP

In December 2014 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia’s Interfax news agency that because Crimea had been absorbed into Russia and was no longer part of Ukraine, Russia “has the right to manage its nuclear arsenal…in accordance with its interests and international legal obligations.”