Playing on the phrase “Murder, Inc.” a 14-page article titled “Kremlin Inc.” in the January 29th issue of the New Yorker (currently on newstands) contains a scathing indictment of Vladmir Putin, whose scowling visage emblazens the piece in a magnficiently malevolent two-page cartoon, for the murders of Khlebnikov, Politkovskaya and Litvinenko. Unavailable online, the piece concludes with this icy blast as Politkovskaya speaks from the grave:
I have wondered a great deal about why I am so intolerant of Putin. Quite simply, I am a 45-year-old Muscovite who observed the Soviet Union at its most disgraceful in the 1970s and 1980s. Putin has, by chance, gotten his hands on enormous power and has used it to catastrophic effect. I dislike him because he does not like people. He despises us. He sees us a means to his ends, a means for the achievement and retention fo personal power, no more than that. Accordingly, he believes he can do anything he likes with us, play with us as he sees fit, destroy us as he sees fit. We are nobody, while he whom chance has enabled to clamber to the top of the pile is today Tsar and God. In Russia we have had leaders with this outlook before. It led to tragedy, to bloodshed on a vast scale, to civil wars. I want no more of that.
Go out and buy the issue, and read the horror for yourself. At last, American journalists are standing up for their colleagues across the sea — though it’s surely a pity that the New Yorker did not see fit to make this text available on the web. Who will Putin start killing when he’s done with all the journalists in Russia? Ask not for whom the bell tolls, my friend.
NB: LR has written the New Yorker editors and asked them to publish the article as web content, and they have indicated they are considering it. It couldn’t hurt for other readers to write and commend them for their wonderful reporting and second the request to put it on the net. The address for e-mail is: email@example.com
Meanwhile Robert Amsterdam has posted a PDF version of the article here.