anna politkovskaya

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 Anna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist and human rights campaigner. Well known for her investigations into social issues in Russia and her reports from the war-torn region of Chechnya, she was a prominent critic of the administration of President Vladimir Putin.

She was assassinated in the lobby of her apartment building in October 2006. Many people accused the Putin administration of orchestrating her murder; however, Politkovskaya had made several enemies over the years as a result of her journalism, including powerful figures in Chechnya.

Putin suggested that her murder had been planned and commissioned by someone outside Russia who wanted to destabilize the country. It was clear who Putin was referring to: Boris Berezovsky, the exiled Russian oligarch who was engaged in an international propaganda battle with the Kremlin.


recommended reading

Politkovskaya wrote several books based on her journalistic work, especially covering Chechnya and Russia under Putin, such as Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy and A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya

Another journalist who was assassinated in Moscow was Paul Klebnikov, who wrote about corruption in Russia, in particular on the role of Boris Berezovsky: Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism

For a more general overview of Russia at this time, you might like to try Black Earth : Russia After the Fall


People from the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, laying flowers at the school where Islamist militants had held over a thousand people hostage for several days in 2004. The militants demanded that Russian military forces withdraw from Chechnya or they would kill the hostages, most of whom were children. Anna Politkovskaya was on her way to the region to attempt to negotiate with a Chechen leader for the release of the children when, on a flight from Moscow, she fell very ill. She later claimed that she had been deliberately poisoned and that government agents stole her medical records.

People from the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, laying flowers at the school where Islamist militants had held over a thousand people hostage for several days in 2004. The militants demanded that Russian military forces withdraw from Chechnya or they would kill the hostages, most of whom were children. Anna Politkovskaya was on her way to the region to attempt to negotiate with a Chechen leader for the release of the children when, on a flight from Moscow, she fell very ill. She later claimed that she had been deliberately poisoned and that government agents stole her medical records.

Attribution for music used in this episode:

Assassinations Podcast Theme Music (Intro, Outro, and Transitions) written and performed by Graeme Ronald

"Tranquility" by Purple Planet is licensed under CC BY 3.0 / A derivative from the original work

"Black Coffee" by Purple Planet is licensed under CC BY 3.0 / A derivative from the original work