Tag Archives: Politkovskaya

Politkovskaya, Immortal

The Observer reviews a new collection (buy it here) of the reporting of Anna Politkovskaya (hat tip:  reader “Robert”):

The bravery is endlessly invoked, the “fanatical courage” hymned with an almost religious fervour. Anna Politkovskaya, nearly four years after her murder, is not forgotten. She is one reporter whose words will long be “held in awe”, as Helena Kennedy says in her introduction. She is the voice of conscience faced with brutal inhumanity and the peril that goes with it. But this superb collection of the pieces she wrote for Novaya gazeta adds another dimension. It measures her as a journalist against other journalists round the world. It reveals a superb original technician.

How do you best write a print story these days? American academics, as usual, debate technique as though it were holy writ. Who, what, when, and where all in the first paragraph, a trail of relevance slowly diminishing towards a tedious close: that’s the way our newspaper forefathers who worked in lead type deemed best. Just give us the facts up top. And make sure we can cut lumps of type from the end if we need to. But does this matter in an era of digital setting where anything comes and goes at the press of a button?

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Photo Essay: Remembering Politkovskaya

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The sign reads: “Putin can’t solve the problem, he is the problem.”

Following are more photos taken by Russian bloggers on the scene at the observation of the third anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow.

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Nation of Murdering Bastards

EDITORIAL

Russia, Nation of Murdering Bastards

20_3620politkovskaya1Last week was the third anniversary of the assassination of hero reporter Anna Politkovskaya.  The Kremlin commemorated the event in its usual bloodthirsty fashion.

First, it handed victory to the crazed mass-murdering dictator of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, in his libel suit against the Memorial human rights organization over Memorial’s demands for justice in the killing of Politkovskaya’s successor, Natalia Estemirova.  Politkovskaya worked closely with Memorial in reporting on human rights issues in Chechnya, and Kadyrov hated them equally.

Then, it booted Reporters without Borders out of the country.  Last year it was Human rights Watch, this year RWB.  RWB has been tireless in standing up for justice in the Politkovskaya murder case, which has gotten exactly nowhere in the three years since her brutal, barbaric killing.

And for the capper, it toasted Vladimir Putins’ 57th birthday. 

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Remembering Anna Politkovskaya, Russian Super Patriot

K. Anthony Appiah, a philosophy professor at Princeton University and president of the board of trustees of the PEN American Center, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, writing in the Washington Post on October 7th:

Three years ago today Anna Politkovskaya, a courageous journalist who exposed appalling human rights offenses in Chechnya, was shot five times as she entered her Moscow apartment building. She was not the first Russian journalist to be slain for performing the invaluable function of bringing buried truths to light. Sadly, there have been, and will be, more murders. And we all pay the price.

Westerners were inclined to think during the Cold War that a democratic Russia would be better for Russians and for us. Yet 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, hopes for genuine democracy in Russia remain unrealized. A major reason is the parlous condition of the Russian media.

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From the Grave, Politkovskaya points her Finger at the Malignant Little Troll called Putin

A true Russian patriot

A true Russian patriot

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The Voice of America reports:

Recently, Freedom House, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, released its annual survey on freedom of the press. The current report points to “particularly worrisome trends in the former Soviet Union, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.”

The study reinforces the message of a new documentary about suppression of the Russian media and the slayings of hundreds of Russian journalists since the fall of the Soviet Union. The film, 211: Anna, focuses on Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in 2006. She had reported extensively on alleged Russian links to war crimes in Chechnya and was openly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

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Russian Prosecutor Smeared Politikovskaya

Paul Goble reports:

The failure of a Moscow District military court jury last month to convict those charged with involvement in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya may have had less to do with the skill of defense attorneys than with materials the government offered that appear designed to discredit her, according to a Moscow commentator.

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EDITORIAL: Blaming the Jury System

EDITORIAL

Blaming the Jury System

 It can’t have surprised anyone vaguely familiar with Russian politics these days to learn, from Kremlin bagman Alexei Pankin in the pages of the Moscow Times, that the Putin regime plans to use the Politkovskaya trial acquittal to lay the Russian jury system in its grave.

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EDITORIAL: No Justice for Politkovskaya, No Peace for Russia

No justice? No peace!

No justice? No peace!

EDITORIAL

No Justice for Politkovskaya, No Peace for Russia

“There were two verdicts delivered today.  One, de jure, was the acquittal of the defendants. But a guilty verdict was leveled against the corrupt system that exists here. Nothing works, not one governmental institution works.”

– Sergei M. Sokolov, deputy editor of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, reacting to the acquittal of all accused in the murder of the paper’s most famous reporter, Anna Politkovskaya

No justice? No peace!

For months now, a ridiculous show trial has been underway to supposedly prosecute the killers of hero journlist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in the lobby of her apartment building in Moscow in October 2006.  In fact, neither the person who ordered the killing nor the one who pulled the trigger stood before the court, but rather only a trio of lackeys allegedly having tangiential connection to the ghastly crime.

No justice? No peace!

And last Thursday, a jury acquitted all three of them on all charges, putting the final nail into this obscene mockery of justice. Along the way, so-called “president” Vladmir Putin said Politkovskaya’s killing was “more damaging” to Russia than her writings (imagine John Kennedy saying that about Martin Luther King!) and the trial judge attempted to preclude anyone from watching the outrageously crude proceedings, which echoed some third-world banana republic.

No justice? No peace!

We would condemn this travesty, but there are no words strong enough to do so.  From Galina Starovoitova to Stanislav Markelov, these murders have been the most salient feature of the Putin years, and not one of them has ever been solved.  That’s not difficult to understand, not if you believe Putin himself ordered the killings — and not once has Putin made an unequivocal statement condemning them.  In fact, he only spoke out about Politkovskaya because he was ambushed by a pack of foreign journalists while traveling abroad.

No justice? No peace!

The people of Russia, who have chosen Putin as their ruler, are responsible for his actions. The misery and woe descending upon them now are of their own making, and not until they realize that will they have any hope of a future.

No justice? No peace!

The KGB and Politkovskaya

Just days ago, we translated an item from Novaya Gazeta which raised questions about the possible involvement of the KGB (now known as the FSB) in the Beslan atrocity.  Now, NG’s editor has testifed at the murder trial of Anna Politkovskaya’s killers that the KGB’s fingerprints are all over that atrocity as well.  The Moscow Times reports:

A defendant and a key witness in the Anna Politkovskaya murder trial worked on behalf of the Federal Security Service, one of the slain reporter’s editors testified in court Friday.

Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, where Politkovskaya wrote critical reports about federal abuses in Chechnya, said the FSB was tailing the journalist before she was killed in October 2006.  “It has become known to me that Dzhabrail Makhmudov was an agent,” he told the packed courtroom.

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Pasko on Politkovskaya

The grave of Russian Hero Anna Politkovskaya

The grave of Russian Hero Anna Politkovskaya

Смех берет от надписей дебильных
И поэтов, сочинявших их,
Тех, что нам на камушках могильных
Пишут глупое: “Трагически погиб”.

They make you laugh, the moronic inscriptions,
And the poets who composed them
Those who for us on little gravestones
Write stupidly: “Tragically died”.

Writing on Robert Amsterdam’s blog, hero journalist Grigori Pasko remembers hero journalist and martyr Anna Politkovskaya as the Kremlin announces that the so-called trial of her so-called killers will go on behind closed doors, just as in the USSR.

On 17 November, on the day of the start of the trial of the persons accused of the murder of the famous journalist, “Novaya gazeta” observer Anna Politkovskaya, an acquaintance telephoned me and said: “Have you heard!? The trial will be open!”

I had already gotten so much accustomed to closed trials in Russia that I inadvertently said: “It can’t be so!”

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Moskalenko under Putin’s Gun

Karinna Moskalenko

Karinna Moskalenko

We are heartened to see the mainstream media pick up the story we blogged about earlier in the week, via the always-brilliant Paul Goble, regarding the Kremlin’s latest horrific physical assault on its critics. The New York Times reports:

French police are investigating the discovery of toxic mercury pellets in the car of a human rights lawyer who was taken ill in Strasbourg on Tuesday, a day before pretrial hearings in Moscow into the killing of one of her best-known clients, the journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.

The case recalled events almost two years ago when Alexander Litvinenko, a former K.G.B. officer and a vocal critic of Vladimir V. Putin, died after ingesting a highly radioactive toxin, polonium 210. Scotland Yard said he had been murdered.

Ms. Politkovskaya, who had chronicled allegations of abuse in Russia’s wars in Chechnya, was shot to death in her apartment in Moscow a few weeks before Mr. Litvinenko was poisoned. Critics of Mr. Putin, then president and now prime minister, said the two killings were part of a pattern of Kremlin-backed actions against its foes.

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An Assault on Politkovskaya’s Attorney!

The Kremlin still fears mighty Anna

The Kremlin still fears mighty Anna

Paul Goble reports:

Two days before she was slated to appear at a preliminary hearing on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Karinna Moskalenko, who is serving as the lawyer for the family of the deceased and is currently in France, discovered that someone had placed a large quantity of mercury in her car in an apparent effort to poison her and her family. She and the members of her family are in satisfactory condition but will have to undergo treatment, Novaya Gazeta editor Sergey Sokolov said in an article posted on his newspaper’s website late last night. French police, he continued, are investigating the case at the present time.

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Annals of Putin’s Mafia Regime

Paul Goble reports:

In an article timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the still-unsolved murder of Anna Politkovskaya and the birthday of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Moscow’s Novaya Gazeta said that Russian security agencies now regularly engage in murders to eliminate those the Kremlin does not like.
Vyacheslav Izmailov, the paper’s editor for military affairs, chronicles the large number of cases since 2000 when Russian security services have killed the regime’s opponents in Russia or abroad, a pattern that leads him to conclude that “extrajudicial” murders have become “an ordinary practice of the special services.”

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Annals of the Politkovskaya Scandal

Rest in peace, fallen hero!

Rest in peace, fallen hero!

Jonas Bernstein of the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor gives us the latest update on the Kremlin’s Politkovskaya murder coverup:

October 7 marked the second anniversary of the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya. According to The Moscow Times, several hundred people, including Politkovskaya’s colleagues and children, human rights activists, and political opposition leaders, gathered on central Moscow’s Pushkin Square to remember her. In a speech to the gathering, Novaya Gazeta Editor-in-Chief Dmitry Muratov criticized the decision to try the men accused of her slaying in the Moscow District Military Court, which in 2004 acquitted several men of the 1994 murder of Moskovsky Komsomolets reporter Dmitry Kholodov. “This very court heard the murder case of journalist Dmitry Kholodov and let his killers walk free,” Muratov said. The Moscow District Military Court announced on October 7 that preliminary hearings in the case would begin on October 15 (Itar-Tass, October 7). Petros Garibyan, who is in charge of the investigation into Politkovskaya’s murder, told Novaya Gazeta that the case would be heard by a military court rather than a civil court because classified material and an FSB officer were involved.

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