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Remarks by Sen. John McCain at Freedom Dinner regarding Boris Nemtsov cited in Wall Street Journal

September 12, 2015
Senator John McCain

From remarks by Sen. John McCain at the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C., regarding Boris Nemtsov, posthumous recipient of the organization’s Freedom Award; the Russian opposition leader was murdered in February near the Kremlin:

Putin could never understand Boris. He could never appreciate how someone could be impervious to threats and slander, to the lure of corruption and the oppression of fear. A man like Putin, who all his life has stood on the wrong side of history, on the wrong side of morality, of goodness, can’t comprehend the power of righteousness. He is blind to the supremacy of love. He can’t see that all lies are exposed eventually, hate is overcome by love, illicit power decays, while the truth endures forever.

The people who killed Boris and the regime that protects them are the enemies of the Russian people. They rob Russia of its wealth, its hopes, its future. They deny the God-given dignity of the people they misrule. They are thieves and murderers. And they are cowards. They fear justice. They fear truth. They fear a society in which ideals and morality are the foundation of law and order.

Boris wasn’t afraid. He knew his enemies. He knew what they were capable of, but he would not be oppressed. He would not be oppressed by unjust laws or by violence and fear. He was a free man, and bravely so. He was accustomed to danger. But he lived for love and justice and truth. He had been threatened repeatedly and demonized by the regime’s propaganda apparatus. Yet when his enemies took his life in the shadow of the Kremlin, they found him walking in the open air, enjoying the evening, unafraid.

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