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October 07, 2006

Russian journalist critical of Putin murdered in Moscow

Anna Politkovskaya a Russian journalist was found shot to death in the elevator of her building, she was 48. Politkovskaya had been fiercely critical of the Kremlin's actions on Chechnya.

Vitaly Yaroshevsky, deputy editor of the newspaper, believes she was killed because of her work.

"The first thing that comes to mind is that Anna was killed for her professional activities. We don't see any other motive for this terrible crime," he told the Reuters news agency.

Moscow deputy prosecutor Vyacheslav Rosinsky has said investigators are considering the link between the journalist's death and her work.

"We think that one of the leads of Politkovskaya's intentional homicide is her public duty," he told Russian agency Itar-Tass.


Via Robin of 3QD.


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You have been tagged for the meme - Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me

But, do you really think the Russain govt have killed her just for criticising them !?

Putin's killed a lot of people. It's not for nothing they call him "The Butcher of Chechnya."

When political leaders are above the law, you never know what they might do.

Politkovskaya's death has all the hallmarks of a contract killing. No doubt she knew things that could embarrass people at all levels of the hierarchy. Maybe the press and the international community will pressure the Russian authorities to get to the bottom of this.

Green Data:

Yes, I believe the Russian government is behind this.

Too bad the US government doesn't have the moral authority it used to have so we could condemn this extreme abuse of power without looking like big fucking hypocrites.

Where is Peter Beinart's outrage????

I'd certainly not be surprised if the government was behind it, though of course it might not go directly as far up as Putin. Her computer was taken by the police to help them "look for clues". I'm sure it will never be back. Very very sad as she was one of the best and bravest journalists there. (There's good reason to think she was targeted for assasination during the Beslan siege a few years ago as well, and other Novaya Gazeta journalists have been beaten and threatened by people clearly working for the government in the past, including those who covered the "fake" bomb in Ryazan several years ago, part of the terror campaign that brought Putin to power.)

Beinart's outrage resides up his ass, near his head.

Putin was a KGB colonel. Russia is no longer as much under the control of the secret police as they were under the Soviets, but I doubt this would be beyond them.

Pooty-Poot? Nah! After all, our boy George looked him in the eye and was able to get a sense of his soul.

Foosh, whew. There was a Pat Oliphant cartoon at that time, showing W walking away from Putin, starry-eyed, or glassy-eyed, saying he'd "gotten a sense of his soul;" walking the other way, away from W, is Putin, admiring the wallet and Rolex he just took from W, and saying: "I can do business with this man."

Not that colonels in the secret police or spy agencies can't have good souls to sense, but... I guess I find Putin a bit more inscrutable than our Current Occupant did.

The plot thickens.

These sorts of events are not uncommon in Putin's Russia. According to Reporters Without Borders, numerous journalist have been beaten, kidnapped or and/or killed in the past several years, coinciding with a post-9/11 government crackdown on press freedom (purportedly in the name of fighting terror - you damn right Bush could sense Putin's soul; they are twin spirits):

Sergei Lubimov, a journalist with the regional weekly Bogatei, who was brutally attacked on 19 February outside his home in the southern city of Saratov by two thugs who broke both of his legs...Alexandre Krutov of the same newspaper was badly beaten by three persons outside his home in Saratov in March 2003 as he was finishing a report likely to embarrass the local prosecutor’s office.

Several journalists have been murdered in recent years, including Paul Khlebnikov, a US citizen and editor of the Russian version of the magazine Forbes, who was gunned down as he left his office on 9 July 2004. His murder has still not been solved...Aged 31, [Alexei Sidorov] was stabbed by two men in the parking lot of his apartment building in the city of Togliatti on 9 October 2003 and died moments later in his wife’s arms. He had taken over as his newspaper’s editor from Valery Ivanov, a journalist who was murdered in similar circumstances on 29 April 2002. We are also still without news of Ali Astamirov, the Agence France-Presse correspondent in Ingushetia, who was kidnapped on 4 July 2003.

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