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Anna Politkovskaya: Why do IdislikePutin?
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, 07 2012

 October 7th in Russia is a day when we remember two persons with different personalities, both in spirit as well as lifestyle. Sixyears ago journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow. Sixty years ago a man was born on the planet Earth, a man who was fortunate to have a turn at the helm and steer the entire state for over ten years. Today the political and business elite of Russia celebrates the 60th anniversary of the birth of VladimirPutin.

In Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sunday, October 7th, there will be a rally commemorating Anna Politkovskaya. There will also be rallies and parties by pro-Kremlin youths in honor of Putin's anniversary.

From 1982to 1993Anna Politkovskaya worked for the newspapers ‘Izvestia’ and ‘Air Transport’, as well as for the magazine of the ‘Escart’ creative association, and the ‘Parity’ publishing house. Before 1994she was a columnist for the weekly ‘Megapolis Express’ back when the publication was not yet a tabloid. From1994 to 1999she was a columnist and emergencies editor for ‘Obshchaya Gazeta’. Abook titled ‘The Beatles of Perestroika’ describes how “after publication of certain auctions, Vladimir Gusinsky (whom Anna knew) threatened her with death.”

From 1999onward Politkovskaya was a columnist at ‘Novaya Gazeta’ and repeatedly traveled to the war zones. InJanuary of 2000, Anna Politkovskaya was awarded the ‘Golden Pen of Russia’ prize for a series of reports from Chechnya. She was also presented with an award from the Russian Union of Journalists, the ‘Good Deed Good Heart’ award, for her materials on combating corruption, as well as the ‘Golden Gong 2000’ award, for a series of articles on Chechnya.

Anna Politkovskaya authored the documentary books ‘Journey into Hell A Chechen Diary’ and ‘The Second Chechen (War)’. Shealso wrote ‘Putin's Russia’, which was published in the UK. Herlatest piece in ‘Novaya Gazeta’ was titled “Punitive Conspiracy” and devoted to the structure and activities of Chechen units fighting for the federals. InSeptember and early October of 2006, Anna Politkovskaya significantly increased her analytical and journalistic activities in the light of the upcoming 2007parliamentary and 2008presidential elections.

In addition to journalism, Politkovskaya was engaged in human rights activities. Shehelped the mothers of dead soldiers defend their rights in court and investigated corruption at the Ministry of Defense and the joint command of the federal forces in Chechnya. Shealso helped victims from ‘Nord-Ost’.

In real life Politkovskaya, especially in the last years before her murder, was keen and poignant in her criticism of the Russian government: “Why do Idislike Putin? Iwill say why. Forthe simplicity, which is worse than theft. Forthe cynicism. Forthe racism. Forthe endless war. Forthe lying. Forthe gas at ‘Nord-Ost’. Forthe corpses of innocent victims that have accompanied him during his entire first term. Thecorpses, which might not have been.”

On November 27th, 2000, Anna Politkovskaya, was asked by a ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reader why none of her articles mentioned the genocide of Russians in Chechnya, to which she replied: “From 19911994I had no opportunity to explore the issue of the physical genocide of Russians in Chechnya. Thecurrent period of Chechen genocide, however, is obvious, and military forces, as well as the Chechens themselves, are carrying it out. Manytimes Ihave tried to find out for myself many facts to which Ihave been a witness, whether these were unfortunate accidents or due to stupidity, but always Ihave been routed: there is a system of extermination of Chechens in Russia. Alas, nothing else can explain what is happening”

In ‘Svobodnaya Volna’

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