Category Archives: murders

SPECIAL EXTRA: Breivik, Norwegian Mass Killer, Adores Putin

“Putin seems to be a fair and resolute leader, worthy of respect.”

Those are the words of Norwegian madman Anders Behring Breivik, killer of nearly 100 defenseless children, in his Internet manifesto.

Breivik interviewed himself and then published the results.  Here is the Q&A in full:

QUESTION: Name one living person you want to meet?

ANSWER: The Pope or Vladimir Putin. Putin seems like a fair and resolute leader worthy of respect. I’m not sure at this point if he has the potential to be our best friend or our worst enemy. He is very difficult to psychoanalyze. I would not want to be his enemy, that’s for sure. Obviously, he will have to condemn this [attack]. It’s understandable.

Breivik is also a big fan of Nashi, Putin’s Hitlerian youth cult. Serial killers worship Vladimir Putin. Need we say more?

Corruption and Abuse of Power in Putin’s Russia

The New York Times continuing its impressively tough recent line of critical reporting on the Putin KGB state, reports:

Only one spectator showed up for the final hearing in the killing of Magomed Yevloyev. He was a broad-beamed, ruddy-faced man in a carefully pressed black suit, and once in the courtroom he removed his tall fur hat, set it on the bench beside him and waited for a chance to speak.

Sunlight streamed in the window, bouncing off the white walls, but the old man had brought a heaviness with him into the room. When the time came, Yakhya Yevloyev stood and recited a litany of evidence not gathered — witnesses not interviewed, threads left dangling — that might have led to a murder conviction in his son’s death.

The room went silent out of respect for the man’s loss, and for a moment it seemed as if the process could rewind 18 months to the beginning, when his son, an opposition leader in the southern republic of Ingushetia, was hustled into a police car and shot through the head at point-blank range.

Back then, in August 2008, it was a crime so outrageous that it seemed to demand action. Magomed Yevloyev was openly feuding with the region’s leader, Murat M. Zyazikov, when the two men happened to board the same flight from Moscow. Barely half an hour after the police escorted Mr. Yevloyev, 36, off the plane, he was dropped off at a hospital with an execution-style wound.

Death is often murky in the violent borderland of the Russian north Caucasus, but this one seemed different. Protests broke out in Ingushetia, and Western leaders pressed Moscow to punish those responsible. Even the Kremlin appeared to feel the political pressure: within two months, President Dmitri A. Medvedev removed both Mr. Zyazikov and his interior minister.

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INTERVIEW: Russia Blogger Mark Adomanis

Mark Adomanis is a 25-year old writer based in Washington DC who holds degrees in Russian studies from both Harvard and Oxford. He blogs about Russia on the same True/Slant website that also publishes one of our favorite Russia bloggers, Julia Ioffe, and came to our attention with some comments on her blog. Some Russophiles call him a CIA spy, while some Russophobes think he’s a KGB plant.  Recently, La Russophobe sat down (virtually) with Adomanis to pick his brain on the man called Vladimir Putin, focusing on political murders, corruption, elections and economics.

Mark Adomanis

LA RUSSOPHOBE: We’ll start right out with the question that gives rise to our interest in this interview. In a March 24, 2010 post on your blog, debating with fellow True/Slant blogger Barrett Brown, you stated: “Some of us already knew about the [Moscow apartment] bombings and Putin’s role in them! Some of us have known about them for over a decade, since they happened in 1999!” There are those who would argue that, regardless of any other factors, if Putin had any role in the murder of nearly 300 Russian citizens and injuring over 600 others, he should never have become “president,” and indeed should have been prosecuted and jailed. Do you disagree?

MARK ADOMANIS: I think “should” is the operative word here. Should Putin have become president if he had a role in the 1999 apartment bombings? No I suppose he “should” not have. But he did. Moreover, when Putin became president he had the full backing and support of Yeltsin and his close advisers (particularly Boris Berezovsky.). In a perfect world I suppose that all of the people responsible for the apartment bombings would be rotting in jail, but the world, and Russia in particular, is exceedingly far from being perfect.

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Vera Trifonova, RIP

Vera Trifonova, RIP. Before, and after, Vladimir Putin went to work on her.

Other Russia reports:

Nearly half a year has passed since Sergei Magnitsky’s scandalous death in a Moscow detention center sparked international outrage at Russia’s penitentiary system. Now, in a case that bears an unsettling resemblance to Magnitsky’s, a Russian businesswoman awaiting trial on charges of fraud has died in the same detention center. And like Magnitsky, her lawyer alleges that the woman died as a result of being denied necessary medical care.

According to Russian Federal Penitentiary Service representative Sergei Tsygankov, the 53-year-old Vera Trifonova died at 12:35 pm on April 30, 2010, in the intensive care unit of the hospital at the Matrosskaya Tishina criminal investigation detention facility (SIZO) in Moscow. Local police were called to the scene, established that there were no signs that the death has been violent, and have launched an investigation.

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Yes, Ban those Russians!

Reuters reports:

A Senator on Monday asked Washington to cancel U.S. visa privileges for 60 Russian officials and others over the death in jail last year of a lawyer for what was once Russia’s top equity fund, Hermitage.

Senator Benjamin Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who chairs the human rights monitoring U.S. Helsinki Commission, asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to scrap visa privileges for those accused of ties to the death of Sergei Magnitsky.

Human rights activists have said Russian authorities subjected Magnitsky to conditions amounting to torture in a failed bid to force him to testify in their favor in a battle with Hermitage over tax fraud allegations.

“While there are many aspects of this case which are impossible to pursue here in the United States, one step we can take, however, is to deny the individuals involved in this crime and their immediate family members the privilege of visiting our country,” Cardin said in a letter to Clinton made public on Monday.

“The United States has a clear policy of denying entry to individuals involved in corruption, and it is imperative that the U.S. Department of State act promptly on this matter.”

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What does she look like to you?

Katerina Barduchian

To Russians, she looks like dinner.

EDITORIAL: Chuvashov and his Rotten Country

EDITORIAL

Chuvashov and his Rotten Country

You tell us, dear reader:  What does the murder of Moscow judge Eduard Chuvashov tell the world about Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

(a) That the Putin government was too stupid to realize that Chuvashov’s life was in a danger despite many threats arising from his sentencing of racist nationalist thugs?

(b) That the Putin government was too callous to care whether Chuvashov lived or perished?

(c) That the Putin regime wanted Chuvashov dead?

(d)  That the Putin regime was too incompetent to protect a marked judge even though it wanted to protect him?

We’re hard pressed to say, and just as hard pressed to say which would be the more horrifying if it were true.

We document in today’s issue Russia’s appalling misconduct in regard to the Polish plane crash, it’s equally revolting pandemic corruption at the highest levels of law enforcement, and now its bloody, brutal violence against the very few remaining Russians who would stand for civility and justice.  Viewing this smoking carnage, we see no hope for Russia. We cannot see how the nation can right itself when it is plagued by so many disasters all spawned by the malignant, evil regime of a clan of KGB spies that Russians worship as if they were demigods.

We believe this is the beginning of the end for Russia as we know it.

EDITORIAL: The Russian Judicial Farce

EDITORIAL

The Russian Judicial Farce

One may think it outrageous, contemplating the cases of such as Galina Starovoitova, Anna Politikovskaya, Natalia Estemirova, Stanislav Markelov and Alexander Litvinkenko that no killer has ever been tried and sentenced for their murders, much less any mastermind who ordered the killings.  But one must reconsider when one considers the case of Ibragim Yevloyev.

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EDITORIAL: Another Russian Journalist takes the Putin Plunge

EDITORIAL 

Another Russian Journalist takes the Putin Plunge 

Ivan Safronov

 Call it “the Putin Plunge.” 

Russian journalists have a habit of taking it. 

In 2007, Kommersant‘s Ivan Safronov went out a fifth floor window in Moscow while working on a story about the sale of weapons by the Kremlin to Iran and Syria. 

Then just last week, Olga Kotovskaya fell 14 floors in Kaliningrad, just one day after winning a court case to seize back her TV station from the Kremlin after the government moved in to silence her reporting on political corruption.  The Guardian quoted Solomon Ginzburg, a deputy in Kaliningrad’s regional parliament:

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Russia’s Barbaric Torture of Patriot Magnitsky

Magnitsky's mother with a photo of her departed beloved

The Associated Press reports:

The letters are neatly folded and written on soft white paper in a confident, elegant hand. They tell a story of horror in the bowels of the Russian prison system, a saga set against the backdrop of the world of multibillion-dollar investment funds in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for a London-based fund that was once the biggest in Russia, wrote to his mother of wasting away from an agonizing illness without proper medical care in a crowded Moscow prison cell that reeked of sewage.

Just 11 days after the last letter reached her, Magnitsky died while awaiting trial on tax-evasion charges. He was 37.

Magnitsky’s story hit a nerve in Russia, where memories linger of the millions who died of cold, starvation and neglect in the harsh Soviet gulag. Two of Russia’s biggest independent business dailies ran a front-page story when he died, and President Dmitry Medvedev has called for an investigation. One prison official has accepted some responsibility for the squalid conditions.

In an exclusive interview, Magnitsky’s mother showed The Associated Press a series of letters from her son detailing his ordeal in Butyrskaya prison, notorious for its harsh conditions.

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Who are Russia’s real Criminals?

Source: Ellustrator. This drawing, without any caption, has drawn nearly 200 comments already on author Sergei Yelkin’s blog. The first commenter states:  “I think this is the best work you’ve ever done.” These are Russia’s true patriots, who dare speak out against the atrocities of the Putin regime regardless of the consequences.  How we admire them!

EDITORIAL: Bloody Russia

EDITORIAL

Bloody Russia

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  Russia is a nation of murdering bastards.  The nation’s leader sets the precedent, and the vast majority of the others follow right along in step.  Including the police.

Last Tuesday in Moscow, a trio of cops beat a man to death.  Two days later, this time in St. Petersburg, a second man met the same fate.  The week before, attorney Sergei Magnitsky died in prison after being denied medical treatment, and Putin’s cops claimed they didn’t even know he was sick, as if they thought that was an excuse.

Bloody Russia.  When Britons use that phrase, it carries a double meaning that we would adopt here.  Both “covered in blood” and “filthy, stinking, rat-invested.” That’s Russia in a nutshell.

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EDITORIAL: More Blood on Vladimir Putin’s Hands!

EDITORIAL

More Blood on Vladimir Putin’s Hands!

The river of opposition blood continues to flow freely in the Russia ruled over by proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin.  On Wednesday, Sergei Magnitsky perished in the Kremlin’s neo-Soviet gulag and the day before Ivan Khutorskoy was shot down on the Moscow streets outside the prison where Magnitsky breathed his last.

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Not since the Time of Stalin

An editorial in the Washington Post:

MURDERS OF human rights activists in Russia have been happening with such frequency that some will be tempted to shrug at the brutal slaying on Sunday of Maksharip Aushev, who campaigned against abuses by the security forces in the Caucasian republic of Ingushetia. Mr. Maksharip was driving on a major highway, in broad daylight, when a car pulled up beside him and delivered a fusillade of bullets. His funeral came two months after that of Zarema Sadulayeva, the head of a children’s charity in neighboring Chechnya, and her husband, who were shot and stuffed in a car trunk. Those murders, in turn, followed the July 15 killing of Natalya Estemirova, Chechnya’s most prominent human rights activist.

SPECIAL EXTRA: Another one Bites the Dust

Maksharip Aushev

Maksharip Aushev

Journalist, lawyer, human rights activist and businessman Maksharip Aushev, heir apparent to Ingushetia.org publisher Magomed Yevloyev (murdered in August 2008 becuase of his opposition activities),was brutally assassinated in Nazran, Ingushetia, on Sunday.  Just as Natalia Estemirova, heir of Anna Politikovskaya, was liquidated, so too has become the fate of the heir of the firey Yevloyev, whose website boldly challenged the Kremlin’s mismanagement, manipulation, persecution and destruction of the Caucasus region.  Aushev took over and ran Ingushetia.org after Yevloyev’s murder (which the Kremlin ridiculously tried to pass off as an “accident”).  When Yevloyev was murdered, the Kremlin placed a military intelligence officer — i.e., a KGB spy — in charge of Ingushetia, and this killing is the inevitable result of the Kremlin’s further tragically impotent efforts to clamp down on dissent in the region.  Aushev had been ritualistically persecuted by the Kremlin from the moment of Yevloyev’s killing (indeed, since well before it) in an obvious effort to intimdiate him into silence.  Just last month he was the victim of a kidnapping attempt.

So once again we see that the only way the crude thugs who operate the government of Russia can “win” an argument is at gunpoint.

Who tried to Kill Kremlin Critic Paul Joyal?

Slowly but surely, mainstream Western media are getting wise to Vladimir Putin.  First GQ carried the story of the Moscow apartment bombing coverup, and now the LA Times reports on the mystery and possible coverup of the attempted murder of Kremlin critic Paul Joyal:

That night, he was returning home from the International Spy Museum, of all places. He had been meeting with, of all people, an old friend who once was a top officer in the KGB.

It was raining when Paul Joyal pulled into his driveway in this suburb 10 miles from the White House. As he stepped out of his car, nothing seemed amiss. He did not see two men lurking in the darkness. But suddenly, he was under attack, cold-cocked on the side of his head. The 55-year-old Joyal fought back. He elbowed one of the attackers in the gut and bowled into him. He and the assailant tumbled to the ground.

“Shoot him!” barked the man he struggled with — and Joyal instinctively folded his arms across his chest and rolled to the side as the other attacker fired.

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EDITORIAL: Russia and the Rogues

EDITORIAL

Russia and the Rogues

If Russia were a civilized nation, it’s people would cower in shame upon learning that a leading U.S. diplomat had chosen to lump their country together with the barbaric likes of Iran and China when he singled out the worst human rights offenders on the planet.  In Russia’s case, the legacy of “killings with impunity of human rights defenders” actually makes its offenses seem the worst of the sorry lot.

But Russia isn’t a civilized nation.  So instead, we can tell you without fear of contradiction that Russians will respond not with shame but with benighted pride, condemning anyone who dares criticize them and denying even the slightest need to reform.  Russians will, like the barbarians they are, justify the killings by suggesting the victims asked for it, betrayed Russia, deserved killing.  They will not demand justice now any more than they did during the time of Stalin.

EDITORIAL: The Anatomy of Russian Barbarism

EDITORIAL

The Anatomy of Russian Barbarism

We’ve never before adopted somebody else’s opinion as our own. We do so today.  Everything that follows  was written by the Committee to Protect Journalists.  We do not simply agree, we adopt it as our own, and we condemn the cowardly Western leaders who have allowed this atrocity to pass virtually unnoticed, to say nothing of the craven mainstream Western journalists who are the colleagues of the oppressed heros of Russia.  At least a few major sources have covered this statement, but many others have not and none have taken the steps they should have, years ago, to stand up for their victimized brothers and sisters behind the new iron curtain.

RUSSIA_FOTOS-copy-2

Only Iraq and Algeria outrank Russia on the list of most life-threatening countries for the press. Seventeen journalists have been murdered in Russia since 2000. In only one case have the killers been punished. This is a sorry record for a great and powerful nation that embarked on democratization after more than 70 years of brutal repression.

That is why the Committee to Protect Journalists is releasing an unprecedented report that calls on the international community to help reverse this slide toward lawlessness. Our mission is to protect journalists, and we are less and less able to do so in Russia. Though we continue to appeal to Russian authorities to bring to justice those who murdered our colleagues, we can no longer leave it at that. This report is more than an expression of our outrage. We propose concrete guidelines and present hard facts for restarting investigations into these unsolved murders.

Let us be perfectly plain. Any state that turns a blind eye—or worse—toward the assassination of reporters cannot call itself a democracy. When journalists are threatened, democracy itself is threatened. Along with the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and an autonomous civil society, free media is one of the essential pillars of a healthy society. Remove one, and the whole structure may collapse.

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EDITORIAL: Russia is a Nation of Murdering Bastards

EDITORIAL

Russia is a Nation of Murdering Bastards

“We don’t want this country to turn into Russia.”

– Pennsylvania resident Katy Abram to turncoat Senator Arlen Spector at a public forum on Tuesday

Zarema Sadulayeva in 2006.  Murdered by the Kremlin last Tuesday. RIP

Zarema Sadulayeva in 2006. Murdered by the Kremlin last Tuesday. RIP

Blood is flowing in rivers in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. As a New York Times op-ed writer we publish below states: “Russia is getting away with murder.”

Stalin, through his malignant spawn, as we reiterate in an original translation today, is suing Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper which published Anna Politkovskaya, who was yet another entry in a seemingly endless string of obviously political murders that dates back to Vladimir Putin’s first days in the Moscow Kremlin, with the slaying of Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova.

Stalin is alive and well in Putin’s Russia, in more ways than one.  Stalin had Beria, and Putin has Kadyrov, his homicidal henchman in Chechnya, who is striking down the Kremlin’s critics with total impunity, so fast it is hard to keep up.  And he openly boast of his deeds and his hatred for the women who dare to challenge him.  He recently stated that Natalia Estemirova, Politkovskaya’s successor and struck down just like her, was “misleading people and writing lies.”  Before that, he publicly declared she had “no honor or conscience.”  He admits that he has “blood up to his elbows,” and the blood marks rose a little higher earlier this week when he brutally abducted and murdered children’s rights activist Zarema Sadulayeva and her newly married husband, stuffing their corpses into the truck of their own car.  His police, copying Stalin jot for jot, had rounded them up.

And why shouldn’t they?

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Obama on Russia: Ignorant, or simply Cowardly?

Celestine Bohlen of Bloomberg News, writing in the New York Times:

Russia is still getting away with murder.

On Tuesday, two more bodies of human rights workers were found in the southern republic of Chechnya, this time in the trunk of a car.

This comes less than a month after the shocking death of Natalya Estemirova, a 50-year-old human-rights campaigner whose body was dumped by the side of a road. She had been shot several times — at least once in the head, which is the signature for the killers who have been methodically eliminating critics and rivals of Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya.

Once again, Mr. Kadyrov, who is just 32, has mocked both his accusers and the victims. “Why should Kadyrov kill a woman who was useful to no one?” he scoffed when asked by Radio Free Europe about allegations that he was responsible for Ms. Estemirova’s death. “She was devoid of honor, merit and conscience.”

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Der Spiegel exposes and Condemns Russian Barbarism

Mr. Medvedev takes Aim

Mr. Medvedev takes Aim

Under the photograph shown above and the headline “The Triumph of Fear,” Der Speigel reports on the Kremlin’s barbaric homicidal rampage against civil society, using the strongest terms a major newspapers possibly can (truly, one  photograph with an automatic rifle is worth a thousand words):

Yet another Russian human rights activist has been silenced in yet another brutal attack. This week unknown gunmen shot anti-corruption activist Albert Pchelintsev in the mouth with rubber bullets, in front of his apartment in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. The 38 year old was seriously wounded in the lower face and jaw but survived the attack.

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In Putin’s Russia, Wanton Savagery

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Valery Kazakov was almost to the prosecutor’s office when the killers caught him. He was shot as he cut through an alleyway, and when he stumbled bleeding into the street, a man bent down to stab the final breaths out of him.

It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, in the heart of the sleepy town of Pushkino. As far as the townspeople were concerned, it was a public execution. Kazakov, a former police officer, was believed to have been on his way to testify in the corruption case against the former mayor.

It has been a year now, and Kazakov’s widow holds out little hope of justice, shrugging off the idea with weary skepticism. Police recently arrested the alleged killer, but that’s just a “technical detail,” Maria Kazakova says. She wants to know who put the hit on her husband, who ordered and paid for it.

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SPECIAL EXTRA: In Russia, Bloody Mahem and All-Out Assault on Human Rights Defenders

Albert Pchelintsev

Albert Pchelintsev

First it was Natalia Estemirova.

The came Andrei Kulagin.

And now we can add yet a third vicious assault on human rights activists in Russia in just the past few weeks:  Albert Pchelintsev.

Other Russia reports that Pchelintsev is the regional director of the “Against Corruption, Deception and Dishonor” movement and states that according to the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, Pchelintsev was attacked on Saturday evening as he returned home and was shot in the mouth with a stun gun.  After undergoing reconstructive surgery, he remains in serious condition and cannot speak.  The gang of attackers allegedly shouted at him:  “You won’t be able to speak out now for a long time!”  Other Russia adds:  “The rights leader had taken an active role in recent municipal election in Khimki, and strongly criticized town officials during the campaign.  Pchelintsev also wrote a column dedicated to corruption in a local newspaper.  In 2008, the activist helped to open a community office where citizens could report and document cases of corruption.  He is one of many activists from Khimki to be attacked in recent years.”

Russia’s streets flow red with the blood of its patriots, struck down by their own countrymen and indeed their own government.  And perhaps the most apalling of all is the craven silence of the American White House. Shame on you, Mr. Obama!  How many heros must perish before Obama will know it is too many are deign to speak up?

SPECIAL EXTRA: Andrei Kulagin Found Dead

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Yet another Russian human rights activist has been assassinated, again with direct and obvious involvement of the Russian government.  Andrei Kulagin, who disappeared two months ago  in Petrozavodsk, near Finland, has been found brutally murdered and dumped in a quarry. He founded an NGO called “Justice” (“Spravedlivost“) and focused on prisoners rights, confronting authorities with demands for humane treatment of incarcerated persons, and was heading up their office in northwestern Russia.  The Russian government has been at war with prisoners’ rightst activists in recent months, prosecuting them on bogus criminal charges and forcing them into exile or silence, as we’ve previously reported..

Andrei Kulagin follows Natalia Estemirova into the Grave!

Andrei Kulagin follows Natalia Estemirova into the Grave!

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has banned an UN investigation into the murder of Natalia Estemirova just days ago (just as it has ejected UN and OSCE observers from Ossetia).  What does the Kremlin have to hide? Everything!

The Kremlin is on a bloodthirsty rampage, striking down its perceived “enemies” in exactly the same manner as Stalin did, with little or no public outcry from ordinary Russians — just as was the case in the time of Stalin. Russians are watching — or helping — as the USSR is brought back to life like some obscene Frankenstein.  The horror is unspeakable.  Russia is descending into unholy barbarism.

SPECIAL EXTRA: Natalya Estemirova shot and Killed in Chechnya

Natalya Estemirova

Natalya Estemirova

No sooner had we published special issue devoted to exposing the extent to which Vladimir Putin has failed and lost control in the Caucasus than an exclamation point was added painted in the blood of yet one more fallen Russian patriot.

 Prize-winning Russian journalist Natalya Estemirova, who may be viewed as a successor to Anna Politkovskaya, has been murdered in Chechnya in order to silence her fearless reporting on human rights abuses by the Kremlin in that tortured region.   In October 2007, she spoke for Politkovskaya on the pages of The Nation magazine.  Today, the magazine is eulogizing her.

Estemirova was kidnapped and then shot in the head in the manner of a mafia contract hit, her body dumped in the gutter like a piece of garbage.

She is the latest in a long line of political murders obviously carried out by the Kremlin to silence its critics (the Kremlin’s puppet in Chechnya had openly threatened her life), a history that dates back to Vladimir Putin’s first months in office with the liquidation of human rights activist Galina Starovoitova.

Once again, the Kremlin will remain silent at this barbaric outrage. Once again, no killers will be brought to justice. Once again, we will ask how many heroic Russians must give their lives before the American administration will stand up for democracy and justice in Russia.  The European Union has spoken out strongly, we await their plan of action. If President Obama remains silent on this killing, his silence will be even more reprehensible than that of her Kremlin killers and history will condemn him.  Mr. Obama has no more time to wait. He must speak now, and then he must act.