When it comes to controversial world leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name appears near the top of the list.
Over his tenure as both prime minister and president, Putin has been part of several controversies, including one where a number of his critics were murdered in questionable circumstances. Most of these murders are laid at the feet of Putin.
Boris Nemtsov, Russian opposition politician and former deputy prime minister, was shot four times in the back in February 2015 by unknown assailants in Kremlin. He was walking home from a restaurant at the time. Nemstov’s murder was termed as a “turning point” in Russian history.
In another incident, Sergei Yushenkov, a Russian politician, who suspected that the Russian State was behind a bombing incident and was trying to prove it, was killed after a single shot in his chest in 2003.
In a similar assassination, the chief editor of Russian edition of Forbes, Paul Klebnikov, who had written about corruption of wealthy Russians, was assassinated in an apparent contract killing in 2004 in Moscow.
Another journalist who was critical of Putin was silenced as well. Anna Politkovskaya was murdered outside her apartment’s lift in 2006. She accused Putin of turning her country into a police state in her book titled “Putin’s Russia.” Investigations showed that the act was a contract killing.
Yet another murder that raised questions was Sergei Magnitsky’s killing. He was an anti-corruption Russian lawyer and an accountant who alleged that there had been a large-scale theft from the Russian state carried out by Russian officials, including members of the judiciary, tax officers and even the mafia. He died under suspicious circumstances in 2008.
A similar murder took place in 2014 when Alexei Devotchenko, an actor and a vocal critic of Putin, was found dead at his home in Moscow. The exact circumstances of the actor’s death remain unknown.
The aforementioned victims are just a few Putin critics who died under suspicious circumstances — but the list doesn’t end here.
Yet, in an interesting turn of events, President Trump mentioned in a recent interview with Bill O’ Reilly that he respected Putin.
Astonished by the president’s answer, the host asked Trump repeatedly his reason to support Putin, who he termed as a “killer.” Trump stood by his stance and answered, “We got a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”
In the interview, the president also said that he doesn’t know if he will get along with Putin or not.
As if anyone should make an effort to get along with a man who allegedly has gone so far to silence his critics.
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