«He’s not afraid to make mistakes»

Станислав Кучер – про Бориса Немцова, через два года после его убийства

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Stanislav Kucher, a journalist, social activist, documentary filmmaker, television and radio presenter. A member of the Presidential Council for civil society development and human rights.
Stanislav Kucher, a journalist, social activist, TV and radio presenter. A member of the Presidential Council for civil society development and human rights.

Boris Nemtsov, who I knew personally. We met when I was leading the program “Predictions of the week” on TV-6. One time I interviewed him when he was Governor of Nizhny Novgorod. Later I became the host of the program “Explorer”, the main political program on TV-6, the focus of which was including the fate of Nemtsov as a bright young leader.

In 1997, he arrived in Moscow and began to work in the government, and later became the first Deputy Prime Minister. Then he was a frequent guest in our Studio. After the recording we would often drink tea and not only tea, discussing the events in the country and the world. Then we became friends, or rather, we have established friendly relations.

Quickly switched to “you”, despite the fact that he held a high post in the government, and I was younger than his 12 years.

I liked it from the beginning, his sincerity and willingness to defend their point of view before each fellow, regardless of status – a trait unusual for politicians in General and politicians of that time in particular. Policy positions, after all “carried themselves”, feeling a social responsibility, tried to seem very serious. Nemtsov wasn’t – he was always “the guy”, and it certainly paid off.

Was struck by his inability to be offended, or, at least, the ability to rise above the offense. I would calmly say, “Boris, you’re a great guy, but a bad politician,” and he was offended, asked me what I mean. Then I explained to him that a politician must be able to intrigue, to compromise, to do everything to get the maximum amount of power to then influence what is happening, “and you, Boris, not like that, because you’re acting too openly, fight with open visor”. He replied: “You may be right, but I do not know how to intrigue and don’t want to learn.” For Boris such concepts as honor, loyalty, conscience, decency was not simple words.

He’s not afraid to make mistakes. In the recently released film “Too free man” shows very well how he lived, worked, fought and was wrong. Many of my peers and people younger than me have the impression that Nemtsov, Ryzhkov, and Chubais and Berezovsky is one big gang of the nineties, which plundered the country and haven’t done anything else. This film shows that in fact the Germans fought with Berezovsky and Gusinsky, and in this information war with the oligarchs, the Germans had suffered heavily. A huge part of the population watching television, were tuned against him. They have the Germans been associated with predatory capitalism, while, as he actually threw it a serious challenge.

In the beginning he supported Putin, the SPS went to the polls in 2003 under the slogan “Putin for President, Kiriyenko to the Duma”. Boris did not hesitate to admit these mistakes, your own mistakes.

He was simply a great guy. I was impressed by his love of life in all of its diverse manifestations. He tried to perceive life as a challenge or adventure, not as a drama or a tragedy. After forty mastered the kitesurfing. Once in Greece he was carried far out to sea, the kite was torn and he had a few hours to get to the shore one-on-one with the elements. He was not afraid, he lived dangerously. Boris understood that the only way to live, because any other life is boring and incomplete.

March of memory of the second anniversary of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
the March of remembrance on the second anniversary of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

For many, the path Nemtsov – the way of the loser who first climbed high and then dropped dramatically, to the extent that it together with the participants of street protests was beaten, dragged into a paddy wagon, and one day he met in the chamber of the New year. It’s a little long ceased to be treated as a representative item. Was the appearance of movement downward, but actually, in my opinion, he, on the contrary, have to become wiser, more experienced, more active and, of course, if he were alive today, he could throw a serious challenge to any candidate in the next election.