Hero, Patriot Lawyer Stanislav Markelov

Hero, Patriot and Martyr: Lawyer Stanislav Markelov

No sooner had we published an editorial (below) decrying the injustice of releasing the brutal murderer Col. Yuri Budanov from prison than the lawyer for Budanov’s victim, 18-year-old Heda Kungayeva, was shot and killed in Moscow after leaving a news conference where he, too, expressed outrage at the release and announced his intention to challenge the release in court. The lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, was a renowned defender of human rights in Russia, director of the Rule of Law Institute and the attorney equivalent of Anna Politkovskaya (indeed, she was one of his clients), and now he has met the same fate as she did, the same fate Russia reserves for all her true patriots.

Anastasia Barurova

Anastasia Baburova

Anastasia Baburova, a Kremlin-critical journalist with the Novaya Gazeta newspaper which previously published Politkovskaya and at whose knee Barburova had studied, was at Markelov’s side and was also shot, but survived — only to perish hours later in the emergency room. She was NG’s correspondent on the Budanov story and had written extensively about it.   Markelov was shot from behind at 2 pm Moscow time by a silencer-equipped pistol at close range. It is being reported that Baburova was shot when she tried to pursue and seize the assassin after the first shots were fired.

Nobody even casually familiar with this blog can be surprised by this news; it is only the latest in a long string of political murders have have shadowed Vladimir Putin from his first months in the Kremlin. 

To the leaders of the Western democracies we can only say:  “How many deaths will it take til you know that too many Russians have died?”

NOTE:  Grusome photographs from the scene of the crime are here courtesy of Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta’s coverage is here (Russian link).

40 responses to “Special Extra: MARKELOV GUNNED DOWN!

  1. Rest In Peace good sir.
    May your death be avenged.

  2. Too many, apparently. It is inexcusable. But as the recent crisis with Ukraine has shown, the West only cares about their own physical comfort.

  3. Political assassination, then and now

    About the murders of Russian dissidents abroad, after the Umar Israilov’s murder in Austria.

  4. Why is the Kremlin protecting Yuri Badanov? Russians need to start asking these hard questions. I am afraid the Siloviki have consolidated power and a NEW TERROR will soon begin. As Biden says, time to gird your loins.

  5. You have to wait and see how our ambassadors turn out. The US ususally sends a bunch of clowns like Talbott and Davies. But well see what they sent this time.

    With Queen Hillary at the Helm and Captain Obama scrubbing the deck, US-Russian relations can only plummet.

  6. Btw, you should give more attention to the cases of Chechens (and other Caucasians). As the Other Russia wrote regarding the murder of Israilov in Austria, there was just another in dozens of ECHR rulings regarding killings and “disapperances” in Chechnya:

    Oh, and Spain just extradited a Chechen refugee Murat Gasayev (Gesaev) to Russia. Yes, you hard it right. They won’t need to kill him in Spain, thank you for your cooperation.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7806155.stm (there were many more articles, there was a campaign in Spain not to extradite him).

    One other was recently also almost deported from Turkey (it was barely stopped at the airport), one is in danger in Poland, etc.

  7. There is also a hit list of 300 Chechens abroad to kill, as a Russian defector reported to the Austrian authorities (50 of them live in Austria). Several were killed last year outside the EU, some with a special assassination pistol of the GRU (see the Jamestown Foundation article on this).

    Seriously, stop wasting your and everyone’s time on Russian tennis women, and get more interested in the dirty war in the Russian North Caucasus.


    You might want to peruse our coverage a bit more closely. We’ve actually written quite extensively about Chechnya, with more than 125 posts on the subject to date:


    We have far more coverage of that topic than any other Russia blog on the planet. But we think that the real problem isn’t Chechnya, it’s the Kremlin, and Chechnya isn’t the best issue to leverage either the people of Russia or the leaders of the West into seeing the horror the Kremlin offers us now. Chechnya is too remote and violent to truly motivate those who must rise up to oppose the Kremlin. That’s why the Kremlin feels it can get away with these killings, because it can tarnish those murdered with the Chechnya brush.

  8. Chechnya (or Ingushetia or Dagestan or NOssetia or….) being “too far away”? It’s supposedly in Russia, and for many it’s closer than Moscow. For example, for people in Georgia.

    Some silly “news” regarding tennis women (who even cares?) get their posts, but when a Russian dissident is gunned down in broad daylight by suspected Russian agents firing their guns on a busy street of Vien, Austria, it’s only “oh, and by the way” note days later. Some wrong priorities here.


    We condemned the Kremlin for the Vienna murder in an editorial published two days after it occurred. This blog does not publish every day, and its purpose is not to report the news contemporaneously but to record a record of the rise of the neo-Soviet state in Russia.

    The fact is that most Russians and outsiders are not prepared to consider events in Chechnya or involving Chechen fighters are primary evidence of the need for regime change in Moscow. If you think otherwise, you need to get out more.

    And thanks for complimenting us on the over 125 posts about Chechnya we’ve published that you obviously didn’t know existed! That’s just the kind of support that’s likely to encourage us to do more.

    May we ask how many of those posts you helped to publicized by using DIGG or DELICIOUS to favorite them? Not once? Hmmm . . . maybe you too could be doing a better job.

  9. Actually I never “used DIGG or DELICIOUS” at all.


    If you don’t support our blog, what makes you think you have the right to dictate our coverage? Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse?

  10. Has Budanov already been released? BBC seemed to imply that he was. What are the chances that he did it?


    It’s been reported he was released last Thursday.


    The chances are not as good as that the Kremlin is using the possiblity as a convenient smokescreen to cover its own action.

  11. And about Markelov you might also check
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/016/2004 (2004).

  12. Baburova has also died

  13. Putin fronts the most gratuitously violent regime on earth, bar none. The world wide assasinations of his mob’s critics are on an epidemic scale; possibly unprecedented in it’s scale and relentlessness? Russia is ruled by gangsters, no two ways about it.

    As for Spain’s Zappatero sending a man to his certain death, well, the country did cave in en-masse to AQ after the Madrid atrocities. No surprise that they quiver at the feet of Don Vladimir.

  14. It’s so sick. I feel so awful for these two decent young journalists.

    Political murder is accelerating. Broad daylight on a Moscow street, that’s bold, and meant to send a message.

    In any sane western country there would be 24/7 headline coverage on the tv, an immediate investigation started and public demonstrations by this time with this many murdered journalists. The Russian sheeple for the most part will continue staring at their feet, gazing up to check exchange rates once and a while and that’s about all. Shame on them. They deserve the government that they’ve got.

  15. Anastasia Barburova was a senior journalism student at Moscow State University. In the other two insane petro-thug countries like Iran and Venezuela the college students have protested on the streets.

    Will Moscow University students rise to the occasion with public protests? I doubt it. They’ve been a generation politically disingaged and more interested in acquiring stuff. It’s another reason Russia will be a hell hole for decades to come if not forever.


    You’re an optimist! To rise up, they’d first have to know it happened, and we doubt many of them will even find out — so much like ostriches are they.

  16. And at the same time business as usual from Germany, France and Italy. Merkel, Berlusconi and Sarkozy, you should be ashamed treating this authoritarian Putin regime as friend!

  17. The list of “Putin murders” is very short and does not include for example the Ingush opposition leader Yevlovyev (shot in the head in police custody) and lots of assassinated Chechens – not even Yandarbivev, the former president killed abroad, with the SVR agents captured and convicted(!!) for his murder. Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruslan_Alikhadzhiyev.

    But I don’t know, maybe really this all is too “too remote and violent”, or maybe it’s not “murder” if the high-profile victim is not an ethnic Russian.

  18. TaliaXianne,

    Yes, Budanov has already been released. In fact, one of the cases that was in progress was Markelov’s appeal of this release. Moreover, there was also complaint that FSIN (penitentiary administration) released Budanov while appeal was pending. Apparently, there is a administrative law against it, but who cares.

  19. LR, actually the college students and the urban internet savvy Russians are the most likely to be informed, they use the internet. This story is well covered on LiveJournal blogs. I have sites there that I frequently look at.

    It’s past a point where blood won’t have to be spilled to change Russia. That thought makes me all the more contemptuous of the 500,000 moral degenerates that voted Stalin as 3rd most popular Russian, the vacuous little goons in Putin’s Nashi and their parents, the apologists like the cretin Misha that posts here and those that watched Putin dismantle any semblance of a civil society in exchange for stuff with their mouths nailed shut.


    Talking about the most informed people in Russia is like talking about the best ballerinas in Boise. That dog won’t hunt. Would that it would.

  20. Does anyone have any idea why the BBC continues to be so mild in its condemnation of the Putin regime? For such a respected global news service, they really should provide better coverage. Whilst they do report a little bit on each attrocity, it seems they are very hesitant to give it the details and outrage that they deserve. Perhaps they too are scared of getting assasinated in the streets of London if they report otherwise?


    Too many Chamberlains, not enough Churchills. Also, not enough viewer complaint. Please make one!

  21. G, the BBC have been lefty lackeys for decades. There is no leftist thug on the planet that they haven’t tried to sanitize. Things are falling apart in Britain thanks to a decade of Labour policies and they still endorse all of the lefty pc and multi-cultural dogma. Labour is on their way out of the door, thank God. They have always been rabidly anti-capitalism, anti-conservative and anti-American.

    Putin isn’t that offensive to them.

  22. Additionally, the Brits are afraid of rocking the boat anymore than they already have in Russia. Thus, the lack of any real progress on the Lugovoi extradition for example.

    p.s. I will definitely start adding my voice to the few who complain to BBC about their Russia coverage.

  23. Why is this political assassination racket even allowed to occur? Where is everybody turning their attention to? Obama? Murder is going on and no one seems to care!

  24. May Stanislov and Anastasia rest in peace. LR don’t dispare, and don’t you quit.

  25. Tower Bolshevik

    ‘To the leaders of the Western democracies we can only say: “How many deaths will it take til you know that too many Russians have died?”’

    Why would the western “democracies” care what their business partner does? They didn’t care in the 1990’s, they don’t care now. How long will it take before YOU realize this? Budanov’s pardon is equal the the U.S pardoning its war criminals in Iraq.

    For G:

    Contrary to what you read here, the West and Russia are NOT enemies. All there is is simply a dispute, a rivalry, nothing more. The BBC is a mouthpiece for the British government and will not make unnecessary condemnations of their allies.

    For Penny:

    You think the British Labour government is leftist? You have much to learn. This is the government that tailed the U.S in the rape of Iraq and Afghanistan. They also excused the police murderers who shot and killed a Brazilian immigrant several years ago. But to you such racist behavior is only intollerable in Russia, but democratic in the West.

  26. Corneliu Coposu

    Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Barburova, who died as both heroes and martyrs for Truth and Justice, are another tragic casualty of their country’s disgusting system. I hope their death will not have been in vain, and my thoughts have been with them since I found out about this revolting story yesterday. Young promising people, a man and a woman of integrity, executed in the street. Such country that murders its own uncorrupted young minds and hearts is, in my experience, close to its own disintegration. At this time, I think the breaking-up of Russia and its fall into oblivion would be the best for its populations, because at least, at last, it would set people free.

    As to you, La Russophobe, I can only wish you protect your anonymity online at all times and under all circumstances. Your blogging endeavor is dangerous, as you’re dealing with vicious animals.

    Nevertheless, these things need to be said loud and clear, whatever the perils might be.

    Big hugs to you!

  27. “Total Bollocks” is spouting off as usual.

    Why don’t you go and live in Russia TB?
    It is after all the workers paradise, or maybe China, North Korea, Cuba, or Vietnam are more to your taste. Why not try Byelorus?

    If you hate the decadent imperialist west so much, why do you live in California??

    This man Markelov, like Politkovskaya, was a real Russian patriot, who was trying to drag his country kicking and screaming into the modern civilised world.

    Try showing him some respect.

  28. Andrew points to a curious phenomenon – that of the Russian “patriot” who has fled Russia for the wealth and rule of law in the West, yet spends their time exalting Putin and accusing Western leaders/media/public of various hypocrisies. “The Western media is trying to keep Russia weak”! “The Western people are fools who slavishly follow their leaders”! And so forth. Besides the little issue of projection, it amuses me how little such “patriot emigres” appreciate that in criticising the West they affirm one of its greatest strengths and one Russia tragically lacks – that of political and personal freedom.

  29. It’s the way monsters deal with their oponents. I can only hope that some day those responsible will pay for these crimes.

    God rest their souls.

  30. Adrian, I couldn’t agree more.

  31. For TB,
    I never suggested that the UK and Russia were enemies. What I did say, however, was that the BBC is not giving fair and balanced coverage to the self-destruction of Russia. Things are not so simple that its only an option of the “evil meddling west” or “evil Russia” like it appears you believe. It really isn’t an us-vs-them world. The Russian government is a bunch of mafia thugs and I think the BBC should cover the reality of what is happening there. You gotta quit your romanticisation of the old Soviet world. Life’s just not like how you say it is.
    You talk about “rivalry” and a “dispute” between Russia and England. That is rubbish. It’s about the media saying what happens in a truthful manner. I’m not sure what your agenda is buddy, but awareness of the bigger picture doesn’t seem to be a part of it.
    Although it appears that you love the university hipness of being a western Bolshevik and probably wear a Che Guevara hat to show how hardcore you are, the dream is over. If you feel so strongly about the justness of the Putin regime, why not tell us something about his positive points and what he has done for advancing the people of Russia instead of just pointing out the dodgy things the US has done?
    Can’t think of anything huh? Other than the ol’ “up off our knees” baloney that the ignorant nationalists spout. But what does all that mean, other than saying “we don’t want to feel like losers anymore”?
    Time to wake up and smell the coffee. There is a ruthless dictator ruling Russia (which, by the way, doesn’t believe in the socialist cause). None of your “but the west does bad things too” rants mean a thing, as it doesn’t change the fact that Russia is going down the toilet when it could have been rising to be one of the great countries of the world.

    Oh yes, and Russophobe, I will be writing to the BBC too to express my dismay at their half-arsed coverage of the Russian decline into dictatorship. The more that people do this, the better!

  32. Andrew, Adrian –

    Andrew points to a curious phenomenon – that of the Russian “patriot” who has fled Russia for the wealth and rule of law in the West, yet spends their time exalting Putin and accusing Western leaders/media/public of various hypocrisies.

    Who are you talking about? Tower Blabber? He has not fled Russia! Or I am missing something? His drug-infested vision of bolshevism was groomed in California. I can’t speak for all emigrants, of course – but most Soviet and Cuban refugees are most coherent anti-Soviet thinkers in the West. Life under communists gives the best inoculation against “useful idiots” that you can imagine!

  33. Good point Felix.

  34. We pray for You in Poland!Rest in Peace Stanislav and Anastasia!

  35. I am sure that Russia will be democratic country in the future and will be admire so people like You Stanistaw and Anastasia!Rest in peace! W.P from Poland

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