October 11, 2023

Russia Remembers Anna Politovskaya on Putin's Birthday


Russia Remembers Anna Politovskaya on Putin's Birthday
A girl leaves flowers at journalist Anna Politkovskaya's home, where she was murdered. SOTAvision, Telegram.

In 2006, on Russian President Vladimir Putin's birthday, Anna Politkovskaya, a renowned journalist for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was murdered. This year, on Putin's birthday, October 7, Russians across the country laid flowers to commemorate the seventeenth anniversary of Politkovskaya's assassination.

Politkovskaya was born Anna Mazepa to Ukrainian Soviet diplomats who were in New York City. At a young age, her parents relocated to Moscow, where she studied journalism at Moscow State University. She married fellow student and Vzglyad TV host Andrey Politkovsky. At first, Politkovskaya worked for the state newspaper Izvestya, covering accidents and emergencies. Then, at Obychnaya Gazeta, Politkovskaya began investigating corruption.

Politkovskaya's most notable work was her coverage of Chechnya for Novaya Gazeta. She exposed corruption in the Ministry of Defense and recorded human rights violations by Russian troops and the government in Chechnya. She openly criticized the FSB and President Vladimir Putin. Notably, Politkovskaya helped women and children trapped in the Moscow Theater Siege have access to water. She was poisoned on an Aeroflot plane while traveling to be a mediator in the Beslan school hostage crisis in 2004.

On Putin's birthday in 2006, Politkovskaya was murdered inside an elevator on her way back from the grocery store. No one was ever punished for her assassination.

In Kazan, residents laid flowers at the monument for victims of political repression next to pictures of Politkovskaya and dissident journalist Irina Slavina, who died by self-immolation. A Saratov resident and two Kirovians protested with portraits of murdered and imprisoned journalists. Ulyanovsk authorities explicitly banned any demonstrations for the late journalist. Muscovites laid flowers near Politkovskaya's home and former headquarters of Novaya Gazeta.

In St. Petersburg, residents left flowers on the local Solovetsky Stone, alongside a picture of Politovskaya with the inscription: "The killer is still killing."

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