(EDM) Last Friday (October 7) marked ten years since the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya. And while her killer and several accomplices were convicted, the mastermind of this crime is still at large (Novaya Gazeta, October 7). Two days prior to the assassination, Politkovskaya had called Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov an “armed coward,” who should face trial for his atrocities; but last week, her sworn enemy staged a grandiose inauguration in Grozny, celebrating his re-election as Chechnya’s president (Svoboda.org, October 5). Russian officialdom avoided paying any tribute to the late world-renowned author, taking a clue from President Vladimir Putin’s opinion that her influence on political life in Russia was “minimal” (Moscow Echo, October 7). Nonetheless, 39 percent of Russians admit they remember Politkovskaya (Levada.ru, October 6).
Fighting courageously for the rights of the victims of the Chechen war, Politkovskaya warned that the enforcement of draconian “peace” would not only turn Chechnya into a zone of crime and tyranny, but also transform Russia itself, so that the legacy of Stalinism would re-emerge in new political forms (Grani.ru, October 7). Chechnya has indeed matured into an armed dictatorship where Russian laws do not apply and brave human rights defenders like Natalya Estemirova are silenced by bullets (Novaya Gazeta, October 3; see EDM, October 4). […]
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