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!”

Exactly in twenty-four hours, the Moscow district military court at the first session of the consideration of the case on the merits decided that the trial must take place in closed regime. The judge presiding at the trial, Yevgeny Zubov, clarified that this was done for the reason that the jurors are refusing to enter the courtroom in the presence of the press.

I have no words. It’s just plain nauseating. I am nauseous because of those who adopt such decisions. And I understand: that’s how it will be in my country for a very long time yet.

Recently I paid a visit … to Anna. More precisely, to her grave, at the Troyekurovskoye cemetery.

At this cemetery I ended up for the first time. The pompous constructions in front of the entrance impressed me: beautiful, solidly made, for the ages… The flower kiosk, the little church for performing funeral services for the deceased, the hall for farewells, the gravestones for sale – everything, absolutely everything has been provided for. There’s no skimping in the way this business is being run, everything has been well thought through. Even the mugs of the security guards are so broad, as if though especially so that nobody would question the seriousness and longevity of this business.

And then I saw the cemetery itself. A huge field of black and tasteless monuments, simply obtuse in their tastelessness. Like some field of dead intentions of good architects. Like a dragon’s teeth that have sprouted, sprung like seeds – and all black, like they had already grown out rotten.

Nearly all the entombed – are military and cops. On the slabs are engraved their portraits in uniform, and from this the theatricality and absurdity of the spectacle only intensifies. And if you then inadvertently start to read the inscriptions as well …

“Here rests …great… deserving… Awarded orders and medals …” “Advisor-legate 3 class… diplomat…” Lord, who needs their regalia THERE?

This is certainly not the poet Batyushkov with his epitaph: “No need for inscriptions on my stone, simply say here: he was and is no more!”

If we are to believe Mark Twain, the deceased adore reading gravestone inscriptions and epitaphs. Oh and how they no doubt snigger and laugh at them!

And suddenly, among the black field of tastelessness – a little island of brightness. This – the grave of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya. A white border, white pebbles, a stone slab over the grave, stylized to resemble a large sheet of paper, shot through in several places. Anna had been shot by a killer, whose hand had been directed by those who were intensely irritated by the journalist’s articles. She wrote about the Russian power, about Putin and his accomplices, about the war in Chechnya and the fates of the Chechens… About closed trials.

A bright gravestone – as a symbol of Anna’s bright soul. That’s how it should be: white – for the white, black – for the black.

In other news, on of the Politikovskaya jurors has spoken out and said that the trial judge lied when he claimed the jury members asked for the trial to be closed to the public, and then the trial was suspended for ten days for unknown reasons.

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3 responses to “Pasko on Politkovskaya

  1. The trial is another Russian judicial joke. Last I heard it was on hold until the Kremlin gives more specific instructions on the question of the press present or not. One jury spilled the beans publicly that they were not the ones resisting press coverage which threw havoc into this farce. Even if these low lives get found guilty, the real question of whom in the FBS gave them their orders and financing will never be known.

    Are the Russian sheeple, those that do use the internet and listen to the few free radio stations, appalled enough to take it to the streets, hell no.

    Like the majority of sheeple begging Medvedev for mercy for Bahkima on her site, never questioning the whole travesty of her sentence, all principles

  2. oops….I hadn’t finished my sentence and hit something…..”all principles” of justice are negotiable or ignorable by Russians.

  3. “A bright gravestone – as a symbol of Anna’s bright soul” – Yes, a beautiful and creative memorial. And such heroes, such warriors of truth are not wont to be recognised in such times. See article “When Martyrdom is Meh” at my blog.

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