15 Years On, Editors Warn Time Up for Justice in Politkovskaya Murder

Russians were set Thursday to commemorate the killing of top journalist Anna Politkovskaya 15 years ago on President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, while her newspaper warned time had run out to name the mastermind of the murder. 

Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of Putin and the Kremlin’s brutal wars in Chechnya, was gunned down on October 7, 2006, in the entrance hall of her Moscow apartment block. She was 48 years old.

Falling on Putin’s birthday, the killing of a top investigative reporter — who worked for Russia’s top independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and contributed to Western publications including the Guardian — sent shockwaves around the world.

“Fifteen years after the murder of our journalist, the statute of limitations on the crime has expired. By law, only a court can extend it,” Novaya Gazeta wrote on the eve of the anniversary.

“Otherwise, the masterminds will go unpunished.”

The commemorative events at Novaya Gazeta’s editorial offices come amid an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition and independent media, with authorities imprisoning Russia’s top opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

In 2014, a court sentenced two men to life in prison for Politkovskaya’s killing and handed lengthy prison terms to three others involved.

Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, a Chechen man who was found guilty of organising the hit, died in 2017 in a penal colony where he was serving a life sentence.

But 15 years on, investigators have yet to say who ordered the apparent contract killing, and Novaya Gazeta says the authorities have no real interest in pursuing the investigation any further for political reasons.

Politkovskaya’s office at Novaya Gazeta has been preserved to honour the slain reporter.

In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Russia for failing to take adequate steps to find those who ordered Politkovskaya to be killed.

Judges concluded that Russian investigators should have explored possibilities that the crime was ordered by “agents of Russia’s FSB domestic secret service or of the administration of the Chechen Republic”.

Politkovskaya won numerous awards for her reports and books, and several awards were established in her name.

(c) The Moscow Times

2 comments

  • “Otherwise, the masterminds will go unpunished.”

    It’s not plural, it’s singular – mastermind. One of the many crimes committed by Putler protecting Russian speakers. Of course the ECHR waffled a bit, but as usual nothing remotely resembling punishment was ever administered. Since her murder, many more journalists have had the nazi treatment ordered by Putler.

    Liked by 3 people

  • In 1993, Sukhumi (Abkhazia) was taken by Russian forces. Genocide was committed by the invaders on many thousands of innocent ethnic Georgians. This forgotten war took place at the same time as the South Osettia invasion. 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced. Their homes and all their assets were stolen. Who ever reports on this filthy war crime now?
    Putler repeated the process in 2008; again with no pushback from the west.
    Anna reported on these events, plus the atrocities committed by putler in Chechnya. She was one of the first to uncover the truth about the apartment bombings in Moscow and several other cities; that they were putler false flags ordered in order for him to justify the second Chechnya war.
    She made a video of this with Boris Nemtsov, which appeared on YouTube, with a posthumous update to include the events of 2008.
    It was a brilliant video but unfortunately I cannot remember what it was called. It has not been locatable on YouTube for years. Presumably because of pro-putler elements inside Google/YouTube.
    Anna was actually Ukrainian (family name Mazeppa) and if she had lived would have been a formidable opponent of putler and his atrocities in Ukraine.
    She and Boris were a terrible loss for Ukraine..

    Liked by 1 person

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