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October 08, 2006

Russian journalist's death a contract killing

Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot to death in the elevator of her Moscow apartment, and all signs point to a contract killing. [BBC]

Politkovskaya was a prominent critic of Russia's actions in Chechnya. At the time of her death, she was about to publish an article on the state-sponsored torture and abduction of Chechen civilians.

[HT: Cat and Punkass Marc]


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Seems to be a rather unhealthy profession in Russia - the AP has a list of other reporters murdered there in recent years.

See also mattbastard's post on the "Russian journalist critical of Putin murdered in Moscow" thread, on this blog. It's a litany of state repression of journalists. I had thought that power was devolving there to local oligarchs and mafiocracy, but Putin, according to certain sources, looks back fondly on the USSR.

You just know Cheney is looking at this and thinking "Hey, that's a good idea!..."

Nothing much to add here, just an OT complaint.

Majikthise, please do something about that flashing ad in your sidebar. I know, you need ads to pay bills, but seriously- that thing is so annoying it makes your otherwise great blog impossible to read.

Ads that drive away readers will NOT help your revenue. Yes, W is the worst president ever- but that ad is still goddamned annoying.

Thanks for reading this. And for blogging. I love your stuff.

RobW, if you're working on a PC, you can stop flashing ads from flashing just by hitting ESC. (I just learned this from a comment thread at Jim Henley's site.)

I haven't figured out if there's a similar quick trick on a Mac. But you can download AdBlock or something similar for free to block those annoying ads.

Uncle Kvetch, you're the man. Worked like a charm.

You're most welcome, 1984, but I should give credit where credit is due.

The Economist gave a beautiful eulogy for Anna Politkovskaya this week (October 14, 2006 issue, p. 91).

"She was brave beyond belief, reporting a gruesome war and a creeping dictatorship with a sharp pen and steel nerves. It may be a chilling coincidence that Anna Politkovskaya was murdered on Vladimir Putin's birthday, but her friends and supporters are in little doubt...

Mr Putin, condemning her murder four days late, said she had 'minimal influence'."

The article goes on to describe the way she was threatened, poisoned on the way to cover the Beslan tragedy, and held and threatened with death by Russian special forces.

Brushing aside the danger, she said that "Journalists had a duty to report on the subject that mattered... just as singers had to sing and doctors had to heal."

It seems highly significant that Vladimir Putin would remain silent for four days, only breaking the silence to insult her. I hope he never sleeps at night without seeing her face.

All honor to her.

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