Skip to comments.Outspoken Putin critic shot dead in Moscow
Posted on 10/07/2006 2:01:00 PM PDT by Pharmboy
Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead on Saturday at her apartment block in central Moscow, police said.
"According to initial information she was killed by two shots when leaving the lift. Neighbors found her body," a police source told Reuters. Police found a pistol and four rounds in the lift.
Politkovskaya, a 48-year-old mother of two, won international fame and numerous prizes for her dogged pursuit of rights abuses by Putin's government, particularly in the violent southern province of Chechnya.
"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," said Vitaly Yaroshevsky, a deputy editor of the newspaper where Politkovskaya worked.
Moscow chief prosecutor Yuri Syomin told reporters at the crime scene, a nine-story Soviet-era apartment building in central Moscow, that he was treating the death as murder.
Paramedics took Politkovskaya's body, wrapped in a white sheet, out of the building and put it into an ambulance. A middle-aged woman laid flowers at the doors of the building and stood with her head against the wall, crying.
Politkovskaya's silver Lada, filled with supermarket shopping bags, was parked outside the apartment block.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, a shareholder in Politkovskaya's newspaper Novaya Gazeta, called the killing a "savage crime."
"It is a blow to the entire democratic, independent press," Gorbachev told Interfax news agency. "It is a grave crime against the country, against all of us."
In the days before her death, Politkovskaya had been working on a story about torture in Chechnya, which was expected to be published on Monday, her newspaper said.
The rebel province has been a constant headache for the Kremlin. Russia sent troops in 1994 to crush an insurgency but after 12 years of bloodshed and the devastation of the province's capital Grozny, sporadic attacks continue.
Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of Putin, whom she accused of stifling freedom and failing to shake off his past as a KGB agent.
"I dislike him for ... his cynicism, for his racism, for his lies ... for the massacre of the innocents which went on throughout his first term as president," she wrote in her book "Putin's Russia" which was published overseas but not in Russia.
Her death came on the day Putin turned 54.
In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists described Politkovskaya's murder as a "devastating development for journalism in Russia."
There are few independent voices in Russian media, most of it controlled by the state or business interests. Newspapers such as Novaya Gazeta, popular with Russian liberals and human rights activists, are rare, especially outside the big cities and tend to have a small circulation.
"Ms. Politkovskaya's murder signals a major crisis of free expression and journalistic safety in Russia," said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
Rights group Amnesty International said in a statement it believed Politkovskaya was targeted because she reported on rights abuses in Russia and urged a thorough murder probe.
Born to Soviet Ukrainian diplomats in New York in 1958, Politkovskaya studied journalism at Moscow's State University and began her career in state media.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union she began working at the independent media which began to flourish under Gorbachev.
Politkovskaya's war reporting often meant she was under scrutiny by Russian politicians and, sometimes, the security services. She had been arrested and held in a pit for three days in Chechnya and received numerous death threats.
She said she was unable to cover the bloody siege of a school at Beslan in 2004 -- in which more than 330 children and parents died when troops stormed the school -- because she was poisoned on the flight from Moscow and ended up in hospital.
Her murder is the most high-profile killing of a journalist here since the death of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov in 2004.
Last month, gunmen shot and killed senior Russian central banker Andrei Kozlov in one of the most high profile contract killings since Putin came to power in 2000.
(Additional reporting by Robin Paxton, Tatyana Ustinova in Moscow and Bill Trott in Washington)
The moral of the story being, "Don't visit Moscow if you're a Putin critic." It's a violent place.
...and you don't think that this was, perhaps, a birthday present for Putinkyskaya??
The leopard will not change its spots. Ever.
Ms. Politkovskaya - KGB victim.
But remember, Bush looked into Putin's soul and vouched for his honesty. Putin must be a good guy if Bush says so.
I am soooo surprised. Just a matter of time. The U.S.S.R. is still alive and kicking...
I can't tell; Are you missing one of these: (/sarcasm)?
For old time's sake...
An elderly man is sitting on a park bench studying a Hebrew book. A KGB agent walks by, looks over the man's shoulder, and says, "What is that strange writing?"
"This is Hebrew," says the old man. "It's the language of Israel."
"Don't be silly," says the agent. "At your age you'll never get to Israel."
"Perhaps not," sighs the old man. "But Hebrew is also the language of heaven."
The agent replies, "What makes you so sure you're going to heaven?"
"Maybe I'm not," says the old man, "but I already know Russian."
How many journalist critics of George Bush (I hear he has a few), the supposedly fascist President who wants to suppress all criticism, have been shot dead?
Well no sh1t Sherlock! Glad to see they are on top of things.
Shot dead? They're not even removed from the invite list for White House diners! LOL!
Sounds like the assaination of Kirov in the 30's.
| Well, you know, sometimes
folks die mysteriously
in free countries, too!
No tin foil hats; good ol' fashion Kevlar. The Soviet (ahem) Russian military appears to have made previous attempts on her life. A military officer was charged (and acquitted) of making death threats against her, and she was mysteriously poisonned during the Chechnyan terrorist negotiations.
I get the sense (only a hunch) that few FReepers would actually like her politics, but she certainly was a heroically brave woman whose death is very ominous.
You can bet she didn't say a thing when those Chechen terrorists murdered all those Russian children.
Putin needs to be Kaput.
Only when fascist totalitarian commies are in charge.
That is very thoughtful of you to post to me AGAIN. I was under the impression that it was made quite clear that under NO circumstances are your posts either wanted or needed by me. But that does not seem to matter a whit to you. Get a clue and stay away...
Chechnya is a COUNTRY, with aspirations and a right to its own future. Russia has tried for 400+ years to assimilate Chechnya and continues to fail, in spite of what it and Russians of all political stripes claim.
Chechnya joined the Islamic sphere as a way to distance itself from Russia and gain allies against it.
America has sold out (and continues selling out) Chechnya out to Russia, in return for Russia's cooperation in the WOT.
Reasons for the current situation include: 1) history of Russian expansionism; 2) oil in Chechnya.
| [laughs] We've talked before?!
I have no memory of you.
I did "In Forum"
for you with no hits,
so it must have been 'way back.
I do not keep lists
of who's friendly, so,
if you hold a grudge just skip
right over my post.
Good point...where was x42 when she was shot?
As Iw heard,
Ana Politkovska was liberal fluffer.
She was known for attacks on Russian Ortodox Church, claiming that Church is about to destroy Liberalism in Russia, she was pro-gay activist and claimed to have connections within Islamis extremists.
She was critisizing Russian anti-islamic operations in Chechenia, and thrusted negotiator of Chechen terrorists who asked for her presence during terrorist actions in Dubrovka teather.
Better yet, what was x42 doing with her about 5 minutes before she was shot.
Chechenia IS part of Russia, in WWII most of chechens sided with Hitler, and it was Chechen in SS uniform that carried nazi flag on Elbrus peak. Also Stalin hated Chechens and dislocated them in Siberia.
Chechens are Islamistic bastards no better than talibans.
They killed 400 School children in beslan and deserve to be destroyed.
I understand. You and I would not have liked her or her politics, BUT, she did NOT deserve a bullet.
Not before fair trial.
Call me a cold-blooded monster, a jerk, an idiot, whatever. I have little sympathy for journalists in general, and even less sympathy for those who take the side of Islamic radicals.
Does the Russian government kill people whom it deems to be a threat? Probably. Do I care? A little. I'm much more concerned with Islamic radicals, including those whom this lady allied herself with.
Well, true, but they don't get the best seats like they used to.
Ofcourse NOT the bullet. It is sad what happened, but just for the facts to be known, she wasnt the "poor dedicated jurnalist that was killed by KGB"
Got it. Thanks for your information.
Sounds to me like the woman was Pro-Chechen and anti-Russian. I could see how a Russian would consider her's a traitor's death. Kind of like the Dijinc (my spelling is wrong)murder in Serbia - the guy who sold out Milosevic to the Hague.
In today's world, it is considered evil to rid oneselves of turncoats.
You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can't take the KGB out of the man.
Lets see what Russians (KGB) said about Politkovskaya
FSB SAYS POLITKOVSKAYA TRIED TO MANIPULATE SOROS FOUNDATION.
War reporter falls victim to Russian smear campaign
An FSB spokesman, Ilya Shabalkin, alleged that Novaya Gazeta had received $55,000 (£38,600) from a Soros foundation, but that the charity intended to halt the funding. Politkovskaya, it claimed, was trying to unearth "a scandal" in Chechnya to attract publicity and more funding.
Anything Soros is for, I'm against.
Apparently there is a Perestroika gap in the new Russia. Some Communists still solve political "problems" the old-fashioned way.
Makarov pistol and four empty cartridges.
A professional double-tap? What were the other two rounds for?
Doesn't matter if she was liberal or conservative. She should be free to speak her mind. Her death is highly suspicious for obvious reasons.
something like that, but this with apolitskaya is rather Gobels-type jurnalist killed in country than jurnalist killed in goubels country. She was Soros funded jurnalist, something like Judas... Im not for killing but, someone said "One bullet fiered and hiting the target is not a murder, but a message"