Monday, August 27, 2007

Russian Journalist Assassinated

Anna Politkovskaya was Russia's most famous but also least wanted journalist as she was undoubtedly President Vladimir Putin's most forceful critic. "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 recent book "Putin's Russia."

She was killed on Saturday at her apartment block in Moscow. She was shot three times in the body and then once in the head, while leaving the elevator. A Makarov 9-millimeter pistol was left on the site, strongly suggesting a contract killing. A neighbor found her dead body shortly after 5 p.m.

Politkovskaya was very critical about the war in Chechnya, which she described as state terrorism vs. group terrorism. She had repeatedly denounced the responsibilities of Putin and Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin strong man in Chechnya. On Friday, she had been writing a story about torture in Chechnya. The Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper for which Politkovskaya worked, was expected to receive her draft Saturday night and to publish the article on Monday. As the draft was never sent, the Newspaper published an account of her death instead.

On May 19, 2002, Politkovskaya signed an article entitled "Children of Chechen Spetzoperations." "He was subjected to the same electric torture as the grown men. Having themselves been tortured, these men pleaded with Russian officers not to torture the boy but to torture them again in his place. 'No way,' was the reply. 'We get good counter-terrorist information out of schoolboys,'" she wrote. Read full story

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