Last week Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was arrested in Moscow and charged with masterminding the murder of hero journalist Anna Politkovskaya. At the time he did so, Pavlyuchenkov was head of surveillance at Moscow’s Main Internal Affairs Directorate, the city’s main police force. At long last, in other words, the world has learned that it was not some rogue elements from Chechnya, acting on the orders of Ramzan Kadyrov, who liquidated Politkovskaya.
It was the Moscow Kremlin.
Remember how dangerous it is for any Russian to criticize the Putin regime over Chechnya, as best illustrated by the murders of Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova and Stanislav Markelov, a recent interview by Boris Nemtsov is truly breathtaking in its courage. Paul Goble reports:
The North Caucasus at the present time is “our Palestine,” Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says, the result of the deal between Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov in which the former has purchased the loyalty of the latter for cash and at the price of allowing the Chechen leader and his minions to do what they like throughout Russia.
If Russia is to escape from this dilemma, Nemtsov said in the course of an online press conference, several steps are necessary because as the Manezh violence shows the problems of that region are no longer confined to it but rather spreading throughout Russian society.
Other Russia reports:
Editors at Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s most well-renowned opposition newspapers, fear that the publication may be shut down in the coming year.
Following months of legal battles, a Russian court declared in September that a decision by Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal media supervision agency) to issue an official warning against the newspaper for “propagandizing nationalistic views” was valid. Since a publication can be shut down after two such warnings, Novaya Gazeta editors say that the court’s decision spells the beginning of the possible end of the newspaper.