Boris Nemtsov: biography
Boris in his youth | Nasha GazetaBoris Yefimovich Nemtsov is a famous Russian politician, statesman, social activist, and businessman. Nemtsov achieved a great success in Russian domestic policy during his career. Many leaders of foreign states were surprised at his perseverance and the will for development. In 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Boris Nemtsov “the bridge between Ukraine and Russia”.
Boris Nemtsov was born on October 9, 1959, in the city of Sochi. Father Yefim Davidovich was a bureaucrat. Mother Dina Eidman was a doctor. Boris lived in his native city for the first eight years, then moved to Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) together with his mother and sister Julia. Despite the parents' divorce, the boy continued to see his father, who helped the family financially and often took his son to the capital of the Soviet state.
The future politician graduated from secondary school with a Gold Medal, then entered the State University of Gorky, where successfully studied physics. After graduation, Nemtsov decided to work as a research fellow. At that time, he tried himself as an author, wrote poetry and stories under the pseudonym, Ben Eidman, constantly moonlighting as an English tutor.
In 1985, Boris Nemtsov completely immersed in science, working in different Research Institutes. He defended his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics. By 1986 his credentials included more than 60 scientific works in physics, acoustics, and thermodynamics.
It was assumed that interest in scientific activity would become the basis for his further professional development in this sphere, but everything changed in 1988 when Nemtsov joined the environmental movement. The members of the association opposed the construction of the Gorky Nuclear Power Plant (as a result, the construction of the plant was stopped). Since then, politics became the main thing in Boris Nemtsov's life.
The struggle against the construction of a major strategic facility was the beginning of Boris Nemtsov’s political career. In 1989, the would-be politician was nominated as a candidate for People's Deputies of the USSR from the Nuclear Security regional society, but representatives of the election committee did not register him.
In 1990, Boris Nemtsov joined the election campaign, taking an active part in the creation of a new political Democratic Russia Election Bloc. As a result, he managed to win elections and became a People's Deputy of the RSFSR. In addition, he was a member of the deputy groups The Russian Union, Non-Party Deputies and Smena.
1991 can be called a certain breakthrough in Boris Yefimovich’s career. He became the trustee of Boris Yeltsin, a candidate for the Presidency of Russia. The powers of the new representative of the head of the Russian Federation extended to the territory of the entire Nizhny Novgorod region. In August of the same year, the well-known official participated in the defense of the “White House”, being with his family on vacation in the Russian capital.
On November 30, 1991, Nemtsov was appointed the Head of the Administration of the Nizhny Novgorod region, becoming the youngest leader of this country. During his governorship, he managed to implement quite successful programs in the region. In particular, the list of Nemtsov’s successful initiatives includes the program "Meter per meter" (initiatives to reform housing conditions for the military), as well as "People's Telephone", "Gasification of villages" and "ZERNO".
When Boris Yefimovich was governor, he repeatedly criticized the economic program of the chairman of the government of the RSFSR, Yegor Gaidar. However, in the future, the politician would nevertheless appreciate the efforts of the economist who tried to stop the process of destroying the economic sectors of the former powerful Soviet Union.
Nemtsov argued that the reforms were not fully implemented, and he considered the lack of government action to be the weakness. Thus, in December 1991 he decided to invite Grigory Yavlinsky to the Nizhny Novgorod region to implement the economic reforms. In 1992, Yavlinsky, the Head of the Research Institute of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, worked out together with Nemtsov a large-scale program of regional reforms.
In December 1993, citizens of Nizhny Novgorod region elected the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, and in February 1994 he became a member of the Federation Council Committee on Currency and Credit Regulation.
In 1995, Nemtsov became the Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region again. At that time, Boris Yefimovich was known as a progressive reformer, and the government recommended to implement his considerable experience in restructuring the economic sectors in all regions. Reformed thinking, self-assertion, effective implementation of programs in practice made many citizens believe that it was Boris Yefimovich who could become the real force for Russia that would lead the country to prosperity.
It should be mentioned that during his governorship, Nemtsov became a well-known media person because of the wrangle with the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, which was broadcast live on ORT Channel. During the TV show, Zhirinovsky doused his opponent with mango juice.
In 1996, Boris Nemtsov organized a signature collection in the Nizhny Novgorod region for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. These signatures were submitted to President Yeltsin for consideration.
In March 1997, Nemtsov was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister of Viktor Chernomyrdin’s government. Boris Yefimovich began to supervise the social sector, and also took control of natural monopoly areas. He repeatedly proposed to implement new programs that could completely change the situation in the country, laying a groundwork for the development of the socio-economic sector in the future.
In the spring of 1998, there was a large-scale Government reshuffle. Sergey Kiriyenko became the Head of the Cabinet. Despite the significant reshuffle, Nemtsov continued to supervise the financial and economic sector, he was still trusted with the most important tasks in the financial sector. After default in August 1998, the Cabinet of Ministers of Russia resigned, Boris Nemtsov left the post of Vice Premier.
Citizens remember Boris Yefimovich as Deputy Governor, who wanted all Russian officials to buy domestically produced vehicles. Thirteen years later, Dmitry Medvedev, the former President of the Russian Federation, issued a similar proposal but Nemtsov, being already the main opponent to the authorities, called this idea “old fashioned and unpromising”.
After the resignation from executive power, Nemtsov created the Young Russia movement. In 1999, he was elected a member of the Union of Right Forces electoral bloc to the State Duma. On March 1, 2000, Boris Yefimovich was elected Deputy Chairman of the Russian Parliament from this block.
In December 2003, the Union of Right Forces failed to obtain the required support in the elections, thus, its representatives were not elected to the State Duma of the IV convocation. In 2004, Nemtsov resigned along with other colleagues of the political council, explaining this situation with the failure at the elections.
Before resigning from the post of co-chairman of the Union of Right Forces, Nemtsov co-founded "Committee 2008", whose leader was chess player Garry Kasparov. The organization's goal was to join all liberal forces for further effective work in the political arena. Boris suggested that such an initiative would help change the state development due to radical changes in the structure of state administration.
In the autumn of 2004, Boris Nemtsov supported the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. He took an active part in the protests in Independence Square in Kiev. The Russian politician welcomed the victory of the Ukrainian Right Forces and expressed his willingness to support their ideas of changes in Russia. Ukrainian citizens welcomed Nemtsov's speeches in the main square of the country.
He repeatedly stated his readiness to hold similar actions in the Russian Federation. His vision of the development of the Russian state was not taken seriously in the country. Thus, Nemtsov was often criticized in Russia, but the politician continued his work, trying to implement his own ambitious plans. From 2005 to 2006, Nemtsov served as a freelance adviser to the President of Ukraine. Viktor Yushchenko, the Head of the Ukrainian state, said that “Nemtsov's advice was not life-changing, but he did his best”.
In March 2007, Boris Yefimovich welcomed the results of the next parliamentary elections with the participation of the Union of Right Forces, as the party could break the 7% barrier in six of the nine regions. In September 2007, Nemtsov was included in the top three of the most powerful politicians but did not become a State Duma deputy, as the party won just 0.96% of votes.
In 2007, Boris Nemtsov ran for the post of Head of the Russian Federation, but according to the results of the voting, the politician was unable to receive 1% of the votes. After that, the politician was strongly criticized. Some politicians negatively spoke about the results of his work in the political sphere. The same year, Boris Nemtsov's book "Confessions of a Rebel" was published.
In February 2008, Nemtsov announced that he was suspending his membership in the Union of Right Forces. The politician refused to explain this decision but said that he would continue to cooperate with the party further. Despite his efforts, the political party ceased to exist.
In 2008, the well-known politician together with his colleagues decided to organize a new opposition movement Solidarnost (Solidarity). The decision to organize a political movement was made at the conference called “A New Agenda for the Democratic Movement” in Petersburg. He also organized and held conferences of Solidarity movement in Moscow, Krasnodar, Irkutsk, Ufa and Nizhny Novgorod. Kasparov and Nemtsov become leaders of Solidarity.
In 2009, Nemtsov announced that he would run for mayor of Sochi, the future capital of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Nemtsov lost elections in April 2009, coming second.
In 2010, Nemtsov took part in the creation of the opposition coalition “For Russia without arbitrariness and corruption”. They established a new party on the basis of the coalition to win the parliamentary elections. It was established in December 2010 and called People's Freedom Party (PARNAS). The opposition set high expectations on the new political force, but in 2011 PARNAS was not registered.
On December 31, 2010, Boris Nemtsov and Ilya Yashin (Nemtsov's associate in Solidarity) were arrested by police officers in Triumfalnaya Square during a rally that had previously been coordinated with the Moscow City Government without any confrontations. Law enforcement officers accused Nemtsov of violating the public tranquility, he served 15 days of arrest.
The last years of Boris Nemtsov's life were marked by constant criminal proceedings. In 2012, he was charged with an attack on blogger Maxim Perevalov. Later, the case finished, and the video with the supposed beating in Domodedovo was irrelevant, as the blogger mistook the politics for another person. It turned out that the famous politician was not responsible for the incident.
In 2014, Nemtsov said that he supported the Kiev "Euromaidan", sharply criticizing the future policy of Russia in relation to Ukraine.
He was going to take part in the protest Spring March on March 1, 2015, in Russia.
Boris Yefimovich was married. He and his wife Raisa Akhmetovna lived separately for the last years of their marriage. Raisa Akhmetovna worked as a librarian. Nemtsov had a daughter, Zhanna, (born in 1984). In 2005, the woman decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and she ran for election to the Moscow City Duma. Despite the support of five political parties, Zhanna lost the election.
Nemtsov also had children with journalist Yekaterina Odintsova. He had a son, Anton, a daughter, Dina. In 2004, Irina Koroleva, a secretary, gave birth to daughter Sofia.
Another Nemtsov’s lover was Anastasia Ogneva. The politician met her in 2012. They had relations for more than three years.
Many accused Nemtsov of excessive attention to beautiful ladies, but he stated that his women simply loved him, and men envied such a state of affairs.
The last politician’s lover was the Ukrainian model, Anna Duritskaya.
Nemtsov loved sports. He liked to play tennis in his spare time. He played it since 1979, and he was fond of windsurfing too.
The night of 27th February 2015 was the last for the Russian oppositionist. At 23:40 (Moscow time), the politician was shot in the center of Moscow.
Boris Nemtsov’s assassination was on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge when he was walking with Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya. The criminals shot the politician, fleeing the scene of the murder in a white car (this was taken from the security camera). Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that a high-profile assassination was contract and provocative.
Boris Nemtsov was murdered just before the opposition rally, scheduled for March 1, 2015. Thus, the opposition Spring March was one of the last Nemtsov’s projects, since the social activist was the organizer of the march until the last moment. Due to the fact that the place of Spring March was changed for one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas of Maryino, some oppositionists refused to participate in it, but the famous Russian politician did not intend to stop. He said that the goals are “more important than the place of the opposition march”.
The Head of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, took control of the investigation of the crime. Law enforcement officers began to conduct operational investigative activities.
Nemtsov's death became a source of serious concern to world public opinion. When foreign statesmen and social activists learned about the murder of a Russian opposition politician, they called on the Russian authorities to bring the investigation to its logical conclusion. Many people have stated that finding the hirers and killers of the assassination is a matter of honor for the entire state system of the Russian Federation.
Putin immediately ordered the law enforcement agencies to create a joint group of the Investigative Committee of Russia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Security Service to investigate the circumstances of the terrible crime. The government also employed the best specialists to find out all the details of what happened.
Nemtsov’s friends and supporters were shocked by the tragedy. In particular, the well-known Russian TV presenter Kseniya Sobchak painfully reacted to the death of the politician on her Instagram account, writing that Boris was "an honest, brilliant, bright person who lived fast and died like a real fighter".
Investigation of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination
In 2016, representatives of the Investigative Committee of Russia completed the investigation of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination. According to the investigators, the hirers of contract killers offered the defendants 15 million rubles for the murder.
The killer of the politician was not alone. Shadid Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov, Zaur Dadaev, Anzor Gubashev and Khamzat Bakhaev are five defendants involved in the case.
Law enforcers found that the group of murderers carefully prepared for the commission of the crime, studying the politician’s way of life, his place of residence. They also had him under surveillance. The investigating authorities said that the contractor was the former officer of the Chechen battalion North, Ruslan Mukhudinov. According to investigators, in September 2014 it was Ruslan Mukhudinov and other people who offered the killers 15 million rubles for Boris Nemtsov’s murder. Since November 2015 an international arrest warrant has been issued for Mukhudinov.
On January 20, 2016, it was announced that Nemtsov's murder was solved. The involvement of all the accused is confirmed by the results of 70 complex forensic examinations.
Films about Nemtsov
After the assassination of the famous statesman, many representatives of the film industry decided to tell about his life in their films.
In 2015, director Zosia Rodkevich shot the film My Friend Boris Nemtsov. The author provided her view on the life of the prominent Russian social activist in this documentary film.
In 2017, another film The Man Who Was Too Free will also be released. It will talk about his political biography. The director of the movie is Vera Krichevskaya.
Nemtsov’s words that freedom is expensive clearly demonstrate that the politician had strong values throughout his life. For many Russians, Nemtsov is associated with freedom, which he took with him on February 28, 2015.
On January 17, 1999, Boris Nemtsov told Ogoniok magazine about freedom:
"Freedom is when you do not feel guilty about all the troubles that occur in our vast homeland, and you are responsible only for yourself and your loved ones."