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In memory of Anna Politkovskaya
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, 08 2006
ImageOn radio ‘Echo of Moscow

E.Albats: Good evening, it is 6hours, 15minutes, and 24seconds in the evening and radio station ‘Echo of Moscow’ is on the air. Weare broadcasting on a frequency of 91.2 FM. Wecan also be heard on the Internet, though in recent weeks something bad is going on with this. Iam Evgeniya Albats and with me are my colleagues, journalists and human rights activists, and today we will talk about Anna Politkovskaya, who yesterday at about five o’clock in the evening was killed in her home by a shot in the chest and a control shot to the head. Butbefore we start talking about Anna and theories about her murder, Iwish to express my deepest condolences to Anya’s loved ones, her children, her sister, her mother, and all who loved her, and for whom this loss will never heal.
I offer my condolences to Anya’s colleagues at the papers ‘Obschaya Gazeta’ and ‘Novaya Gazeta’, where she had been working for the past few years. Mycondolences to Anya’s and my classmates, the graduates from the 1980Moscow University College of Journalism, Anya’s group of 16. Anyawas a complex person, difficult for many, but completely honest, completely devoid of mercantilism, and a lover of politics, but not a holder of much respect for politicians. Shewas a person, quite confident of the correctness of whatever her cause. Shewas active in journalism, investigative journalism, which requires a particularly hard-nosed, special personality, the ability to bring an investigation to its end, and this kind of journalism is always costly financial expenses and temporary costs, fees which are never covered by anyone. Thiskind of journalism is always difficult, in part because this kind of investigation is difficult to publish. Thiskind of journalism is not simple and easy to communicate to people, because it requires a fantastic, fanatical obstinacy, so even when there is the threat of murder, death cannot stop an investigation. AnnaPolitkovskaya was engaged in just this kind of journalism. Shedefended the humiliated and the insulted, this is called advocacy journalism, for which the Russian press was famous for centuries during czarist times and in rare moments of thaw during the Soviet days, and during these New Russian times. Thiskind of journalism also brings no money or no love from the audience, but what it does is bring honor to the profession, and for Anya that was the absolute, she always sided with those who suffered and are suffering. Withme today in the studio is Elena Rykovtseva, a journalist from ‘Radio Liberty’.

E.Rykovtseva: Hello.

E.Albats: Vyacheslav Izmailov, a military columnist for ‘Novaya Gazeta’.

V.Izmailov: Good evening.

E.Albats: And Alexander Cherkasov, a board member of the ‘Memorial’ Human Rights Society.

A.Cherkasov: Good evening.

E.Albats: Dmitry Muratov, the editor in chief of ‘Novaya Gazeta’, was also supposed to arrive, but he got a call to go speak with investigators at five o’clock, so if he can, he may come towards the end of our broadcast, but if not, that means no, because of course, the investigators, who are engaged search for the Anya’s killers, today, of course, they take precedence. Iremind you that our on the air pager number is 7256633, the area code for Moscow is 495, and the country code for Russia is 7. Thephone number for the live broadcast in Moscow is 7839025, for the regions and abroad dial 7839026. Thesound operator in the studio helping me today is Natalya Yakusheva. Weare journalists. Weare obliged to practice our profession even when we do not particularly wish to engage in it. Weare obliged to seek information, to look for theories, including and especially what happened yesterday. Inthe day since Anya’s murder a whole series of theories have appeared, the theory most often mentioned is a version associated with a recent investigation that Anya conducted and was going to publish in ‘Novaya Gazeta’, an investigation into torture and murder in Chechnya, performed with the approval and participation, she thought, of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov.
Vyacheslav Izmailov, my first question is to you: what do you know about this?

V.Izmailov: Anya repeatedly wrote about this. Thiswas not the first article on torture in Chechnya by Kadyrov and his puppets. There have been such articles before. Ido not think this was the reason and grounds for her murder they just need to regard it as one theory. Ingeneral Ibelieve that there are four major theories, and Anya talked and wrote about and exposed those who were engaged in non-judicial killings in Chechnya, those in uniform and, above all, in the FSB and GRU. Itcould be revenge, and not just revenge. Shedid this for seven years and it was impossible to convince and convict her, Imean Anya, so she could only be dealt with in this way and their are other similar precedents supporting this hypothesis. Ifyou recall in 2001, February 21st, remember how we were all looking for Anya and then Sasha got involved, back when she vanished in Khatuni, where the 45th Regiment was. Shehad gone there to assist local residents who had lost relatives and she discovered these pits where people were being held, and she was held hostage for three days she, sitting there, and it was just a miracle that we learned about it in time and were miraculously able to save her, but back then she was placed against the wall and there was a simulated firing squad, and they abused her and when she was saved. Shesaid that they could have done anything they wanted to, that there were GRU and the FSB officers there, so this theory for me one of the key theories.

E.Albats: Vyacheslav, if possible, we will come back to this. Ihave it written down here, too. Iwant to go back, because there are very many, and in particular on the Internet, there appear conjectures and comparisons of facts and the fact that Anya gave an interview, we will now ask Elena Rykovtseva about this, an interview with ‘Radio Liberty’ on the day before the murder, and she said that a trial was going to be held in which it seems Mr. Kadyrov could be a party, and Anya was preparing to be a witness at this trial. Doesit seem to you that this theory is likely? Andthe second one, Vyacheslav, if possible, a question: the material that Anya was supposed to send to the newspaper, is anything left? Because Ihave a lot of text messages and the program site has received a lot of questions. Investigators seized the hard drive from her home computer and sealed her office at ‘Novaya Gazeta’ and took two boxes of documents from there and people are naturally worried that the materials that Anya collected will be lost.

V.Izmailov: Ispoke yesterday with the investigators. There are four groups from the law enforcement agencies, from the Moscow city prosecutor’s office, the Central District of Moscow prosecutor’s office, from the anti-organized crime department, and the Moscow criminal search department. Theyare young guys, but their mood is really serious. Italked to each of them, seven came to ‘Novaya Gazeta’ and they are really serious about solving this case.

E.Albats: We have no doubt. Slava, Ihave a specific question: the material that Anya was going to publish in the edition that will be released without her, with her portrait with a ribbon of mourning ribbon across it

V.Izmailov: Iwill say right now that to the newspaper did not get this material, unfortunately. Itmay have been on her home computer, and that computer was confiscated, but Iam sure that the material will not disappear, if it is there.

E.Albats: Okay, now Iwant to ask Elena Rykovtseva: as Iunderstand it and read it, Anya was on the air with you the day before her murder and talked about proceedings against Ramzan Kadyrov for torture and killings in Chechnya. Tellme what Anya discussed on the air and after going on the air, as is usually the case when information can no longer cause any more damage than that which has already been done. Whatdo you know? Whatdid Anya say about this?

E.Rykovtseva: No, of course not. Before going on the air Anya did not say anything about it. Shethen agreed to go on, despite a difficult situation in the family, because she was concerned that journalists who were previously critical of Kadyrov’s regime had now become more tolerant and enthusiastic of it. Shefelt that it was all for show, that what was really going and the acts of charity that Kadyrov was doing there, they were to smooth over all these tortures, something that she considered to be the most important. So, considering that in this matter she may have been the only one who maintained a clear position, she agreed to come on the air. Thatis, up until the last minute she thought she could physically come to the radio station, but at the last moment her mother had a heart attack in addition to surgery, and Anya could only talk on the phone from the hospital, and she, of course, could not go into certain details. Withregard to details, in all of this the most

E.Albats: What did she say, Len?

E.Rykovtseva: You know, she said that on her desk were photographs of mutilated corpses. Butexplain to me, now where are these photos? Iunderstand that we are talking about her desk at home, the one that the editors at ‘Novaya Gazeta’ cannot access. Theyhave none of these photographs. Yousee, she worked at home, she wrote the text of her articles at home. Everything she had, her home computer, and in all of this the most important thing right now is: what was in her home computer, and what was on her desk at home? Thatis what she said, that she had everything, but as you just said, our quotes are the same as yours, she was a witness in a case and Kadyrov may enter into it in some role. Thatwas all she said. Ido not have anything else here, but as to whether the investigators will return these pictures, and in what form, and as to whether her text will be revised, that is, of course, a question.

E.Albats: Thank you, Len. Alexander Cherkasov, another hypothesis also, by the way, from ‘Novaya Gazeta’, this appeared on their website. Itappeared where they placed Anya’s portrait. Itconsists of the fact that Anya’s murder is actually a provocation against Ramzan Kadyrov, that is, from the opposing side. Hereis another theory that certain of the Chechen prime minister’s people could have ordered the killing. Thesecond theory is that it was a provocation against Kadyrov. Itis known that Kadyrov managed to kick a lot of security people out of Chechnya, and they, understandably, have lost a lot of money out there what with the oil business, the arms trade and all. Hesqueezed out a lot of security types and FSB people. Itis known that the shots of Kadyrov in the sauna, where he is engaged in sexual antics, these were apparently made by the FSB with a mobile phone, so maybe they took some other shots that do not increase of the young Chechen prime minister’s credibility. Sonow ‘Novaya Gazeta’ suggests that the Anya’s murder was a provocation against Kadyrov. Whatdo you think about this?

A.Cherkasov: You know, Iam not a great expert on complex theories. These are all for paperbacks with brightly colored covers. Recall that Anya had already been threatened, threatened in a simple fashion, threatened by Cadet Lapin who is now in jail, the only one in jail for kidnapping.

E.Albats: He was from the Khanty-Mansiysk SWAT police, yes?

A.Cherkasov: Yes, he was from the Nizhnevartovsk judicial police detachment, he is the only man jailed for kidnapping and torturing people. Theyput him in jail because ‘Novaya Gazeta’ undertook to protect its employee, whom he threatened. Otherwise, as on other thousands of criminal cases, they could do this with complete impunity. Thefact is, if we take the dozens of articles written by Anya and published over the past year, we see in them a figurant who could very well be a defendant in this criminal case, because every time she went after someone, the FSB, the GRU, and Lapin as well. Lapin, for example, was just a policeman and in general none of these who torture people and make them disappear are huge monsters with horns and hooves. Theyare but ordinary policemen and FSB people.

E.Albats: So an ordinary policeman has the money to pay for a murder? Investigators say that the murder was well prepared, that Anya was watched, followed from a shop, that a professional worked on it and he left the murder weapon there. Hedid a control shot to the head

A.Cherkasov: The professionals who organize kidnappings and murders, the professionals creating the terror in Chechnya, which Anya was investigating, were not some Martians, but ordinary employees of the Russian security structures.

E.Albats: But these are different things. Itis one thing to do a ‘clean sweep’ of a village, but quite another to commit a murder in the center of Moscow.

A.Cherkasov: For several years there have not been any sweeps they come for a specific person and he is taken away or killed. Thisis no different from Moscow. Chechnya today is just as much a part of the Russian Federation, so ask somebody else for a complex hypothesis. Ishould look for something simpler. Another thing is that this all could just be some horrible coincidence.

E.Albats: We, unfortunately, now need to break for the news, we will return to the studio immediately after the news on ‘Echo’.

/ News /

E.Albats: Hello again, this is radio ‘Echo of Moscow’. Atthe microphone is Evgeniya Albats and it is now 6hours and 34minutes in the evening. Iwill remind you that we are broadcasting on a frequency of 91.2 FM. Herewith me in the studio is Elena Rykovtseva from Radio Liberty, Alexander Cherkasov from ‘Memorial’, and Vyacheslav Izmailov from ‘Novaya Gazeta’, and we are talking about theories for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Heresome scumbags have sent various texts and Iwould like to tell Sergey from Moscow: dude, go take a shower, you are seriously messed up if you think that this was an everyday killing, that she owed somebody money, you do not know how she lived, you do not know if she was broke, so at least shut up at least until she is buried. Iwould like to advise anybody who sends me a text, who sends me this excrement, to shut up. Lether be buried and keep your nasty stuff to yourself, you do not know her work, you do not know what it was she was up to, you do not know what she went through and managed to survive.

E.Rykovtseva: Jenny, calm down. Payit no mind, really.

E.Albats: No, Lena, Iam drawing attention to it because there is a simple sense of morality.

E.Rykovtseva: He is just one person, while you have a lot more normal listeners, well, agree that there are more of these.

E.Albats: A simple and elementary sense of morality that should not allow people to toss muck about while a person is not even buried. Itis just, you do not have to be either a Democrat nor a revolutionary.

E.Rykovtseva: Maybe it would be best just to ignore him.

E.Albats: If, in our country, this elementary sense of morality still worked, they probably could not kill us so easily, Lena, and so we will speak about this on ‘Echo of Moscow’. Returning to the

E.Rykovtseva: The main thing is that he understood you, and that is what this is all about.

E.Albats: You know, if a person could sit at his computer and write what Isee, and he is not alone, believe me, Ihave such excrement on my screen right now.

E.Rykovtseva: Ido not know. Iread your site and there is a bunch of warm responses. Alot of people have written kind words about Anya, so Ijust feel sad that a certain person, or two people, wrote something, but these words are now beginning to overshadow us. Better, perhaps, to move on to good words? Justsome advice.

E.Albats: So, that is out beyond the limits of our affairs, thank you, Lena, or your affairs. Ihave a question for Vyacheslav Izmailov and Aleksandr Cherkasov. Alexander says that we do not need any especially complex theories, that we have a number of people in uniform who have served in Chechnya and committed crimes there. Anyawrote about it, and this is revenge. Slav, you talked about how she wrote extensively on various FSB and GRU people who also had a reason to, well, it is clear, a reason to hate her, but still, to go and kill someone you need a very strong motive. Thatis, could you somehow argue this theory? Slav, here you heard what Alexander Cherkasov said just now, what do you think?

V.Izmailov: Icannot agree with Alex, it is really just one of the theories because there are frostbitten brain such as Captain Lapin, who not only committed murder in Chechnya but also ventured online to threaten Anna. Theyonly caught Lapin, but she harassed dozens like Lapin, and exposed them. Theydid not show up on the Internet, but they were also ready to deal with her. Thisis also one of the theories, that those could have dealt with her, but still here is yet another theory

E.Albats: So you do not mind that it was deliberate murder, that it occurred right in the center of Moscow, and that anybody could have done it?

V.Izmailov: It should also be considered one of the theories, especially since for seven years Anya continued her activities and they were following her all the time, and after seven years it got old. Sothey got ready and they understood that it would not easy to do, because there for a time Anya had protection, ‘Novaya Gazeta’ got her protection.

E.Albats: That was when there were these threats from this cadet?

V.Izmailov: Yes.

E.Albats: Len, what do you think about this version?

E.Rykovtseva: You know, Ithought right away, when it happened, well, Iwas in absolute shock when it happened, Ithought: too close. You, Zhenya, said it is too close, and it is, and Itake a sin on my soul for thinking that it was some sort of hell-raiser, not Ramzan himself, but some admirer and fan, and (Kadyrov) is his spiritual idol. Ido not know who it was, but he just up and decided to give him such a gift. ThenI thought that Imust be absolutely crazy to think such a thing about Ramzan, to set him up, roughly speaking. Onemust simply think nothing at all because it is really too close. Itlooks like a provocation, but double-cross, because they killed her on Putin’s birthday and set the world on its ear. Ido not know. Ithink that here in Russia it is quiet, but over there it is much bigger, there they are talking about it 24hours a day, and it is the first news item. Today, however, if you watched ‘Vesti’ at two o'clock, there it was not the lead item, the first news item was this election in Sverdlovsk where one and a half people showed up. Butthe world was stood on its ear, and Mr. Putin, who always looks to the West, did he need this on his birthday? Ofcourse he did not need it. So, Ramzan Kadyrov did not need it, because he is too close, and Putin did not need it, and these people are tied together. After all Ramzan is nobody Ramzan without Putin, and Putin, too, is nobody without him, because if Chechnya falls apart, if Ramzan cannot deal with his people there, what will (Putin) do in Chechnya without him? Thisis a double-cross that could be directed against two people, and against a third. Sothey take out Anya, who was inconvenient for all these people, they spoiled things and they poisoned the waters for Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov. Youknow, Jen, Iam certainly not a politician and not an analyst, but there is also a third force in this country, it is this so-called ‘power block’ (the leadership of the military, police, and security services ed), this ‘power faction’, and all the time there is talk about what the ‘power faction’ thinks about government, what will they do after 2008. Itdoes not have its own candidate and Putin for the twenty-fifth time has declared that he will not run, even though they expect that he will run, because then they could hold on to everything they have. Onemust enter this into the calculations as well. Hereare the options.

E.Albats: And?

E.Rykovtseva: And this ‘power faction’ also did not need Politkovskaya, with her principles. Whatelse?

E.Albats: Why would the ‘power faction’ need to kill?

E.Rykovtseva: Look, Iam telling you: to poison the waters for Putin and Kadyrov, and to remove an inconvenient journalist. Itturns out that the worst thing about her murder, for me personally, what we are talking about here all the time, is that it has become commonplace to ‘clear the field’. Notonly have they cleaned out our information field, they are also all cutting down, one by one, what little remains. After all, Anya was sticking out like a stake, so they cut her down, and who will rise in her place? Noone will do what she did, not a single person is capable, absolutely not. Thisis one radio station, and, God forbid, that they change its manager. Jen, do you know which station this is, and what will happen to it? Whowill deal with all of them?

E.Albats: Radio on the Internet will operate.

E.Rykovtseva: Yes, and that is easy.

E.Albats: Still, Iwould like to ask Slava and Alexander. There is really this theory going around on the Internet, that security officials do not want to let Putin leave and so they are running a script to drum up hysteria outside the country by picking off Russian journalists opposed to the Kremlin. Thesecurity officials think that this will supposedly force Putin to stay for a third term. Doyou think this is real?

A.Cherkasov: You know, there is this rule that Iadhere to, though maybe because Iam not an analyst: Ido not look for meaning in places where Idid not put it. There has been terror in this nation for the last few years. Inthe Caucasus there is the mass terror and tens of thousands of people have been killed, thousands of people have disappeared, and it is not the Martians doing it. People who speak our same language, Russian, are doing it. Ourcommon, everyday security officers are doing the killing, and Anya wrote about it all the time and so there are too many possibly interested parties, too many prospective participants and partners, to think that it is any kind of a political design. Wecan hide from ourselves a simple thing behind these political designs: there is a war is going on in our country. Theyare killing people in our country. Theyare killing people in Chechnya and in Moscow. Moscow and Chechnya are in now way separate from each other.

E.Albats: Thank you, Alexander. Thatis another theory that you have expressed on the air here on ‘Echo of Moscow’. Svetlana Gannushkina mentioned the fact that Anna Politkovskaya led an investigation into the terrorist attack in the ‘Nord-Ost’ theater. Bythe way, a number of listeners have sent in their questions and there are a lot of them on the show’s Internet site. Hereis one, in particular, from a doctor from Moscow. Larisa Berezhnaya wrote: “I still wonder why everyone is silent about the number of dead at ‘Nord-Ost’ and the lack of antidote. Perhaps Anya Politkovskaya decided to get to the bottom of this. Whatis known about these investigations?” Slava, do you know anything about the investigation Anya carried out on ‘Nord-Ost’, and how likely is it, as they suggest, that this investigation

V.Izmailov: She published everything she did on ‘Nord-Ost’ in ‘Novaya Gazeta’, and she always had a green light, that is, her material was never late. Itdid not stagnate. Italways had a green light. Everything she thought about it and everything she investigated, all of this material was published. Iwould guess that Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina, Ithink she would probably gravitate toward such a theory, because she was also upset that pseudo-patriots, fascists and nationalists, might have been involved in Anna Politkovskaya’s murder, because that is what Gerenko was working in St. Petersburg. Anyaalso did similar work and could have fallen prey to these people.

E.Albats: Sasha, you have any thoughts on ‘Nord-Ost’? Whatdid Anya find that could have set a killer on her?

A.Cherkasov: You know, recently we talked about various subjects, about the Caucasus and about Moscow. AsI understand it there is no progress in this case, including a public inquiry done recently, and it is unlikely that anything new came up. Itwould be nice if there were some kind of an investigation that one could be afraid of, but alas, the public inquiry into the ‘Nord-Ost’ is at standstill.

E.Albats: Igor from Moscow asks: “Do you agree with the opinion of journalist Pushkov, a reporter who works on the TVC channel, that those who wanted to make Anna Politkovskaya a martyr were interested in her murder, that is, liberals and foreign intelligence agencies?”

E.Rykovtseva: May Irespond?

E.Albats: Please do.

E.Rykovtseva: It is just that Ihave heard a similar hypothesis, so let us bring to bear the absolute laws of formal logic. There are these liberals, well, why does Comrade Pushkov just come out and say that it was Berezovsky, why be shy?

E.Albats: No, they also name Nevzin.

E.Rykovtseva: Okay. Sohere they take out Politkovskaya and now they have ruined Putin, but in this case, unlike those whom Imentioned that do not need Politkovskaya, these people need Politkovskaya. Suppose they do not work together, that they are not in the same bunch, but they both oppose the regime. So, they make a big noise for four days, believe me, in this country the noise quickly subsides, it is already almost gone and we discussed this. Sowhat have they accomplished? Theydestroyed the only opposition weapon. Shewas the only journalist who seriously opposed the authorities, so they destroy her and there will be some noise for five days, and for a month abroad, and that is it, and for what? Inmy opinion this theory does not stand up to simple logic.

E.Albats: On the Internet there appeared some kind of an analysis by an FSB officer, of course, all this is ‘supposed’, it was on the site of one of ‘Pavlov’s puppies’, they analyzed operational information written on this supposed research, that a year ago Nevzin looked an alternative in which the murder of an opposition journalist, Anna Politkovskaya for example, would destabilize the situation in Russia and thus start an ‘Orange Revolution’ here.

E.Rykovtseva: They know that this will not happen. Theywatch TV and they see how many people showed up at the rally today. Yes, you had the radio broadcast and Iwas listening to ‘Echo of Moscow’ say that this was the biggest, most numerous rally about anything lately, and, good Lord, how many people showed up? Twothousand? Thatis supposed to be an ‘Orange Revolution’? Theyare not little kids. Theyknow how many people in Moscow can take to the streets on such an occasion. Wealready counted just how many.

E.Albats: Vyacheslav Izmailov?

V.Izmailov: Iabsolutely agree with Lena, that this theory is far-fetched. Itis no coincidence that it was thought up by someone such as Pushkov.

E.Albats: Well, okay, perhaps just because we belong to the so-called liberal media, and, Ithink, are the kinds of reporters who have the facts and use their profession to defend the weak and abused, but really, can we even think up such a complex plot with such sophisticated logic and so full of conspiracy theories, that the opposition kills Anya and the people rise up and they ride this wave into the Kremlin?

V.Izmailov: Why? Weknow about specific people who threatened Anna, people from the security services and even Kadyrov, whom she also interviewed in 2004, and after this interview she thought that she would never make it back alive. Shesaid she felt such fear when she was there because they could do anything they wanted, they said: “we can take you to the sauna and do something to you.”

E.Albats: This was when she took his interview?

V.Izmailov: Yes, in 2004. So, there are specific people who threatened her, of whom she was afraid, and from whom we were trying to protect her, thus this far-fetched theory is nonsense.

E.Albats: You say that there were people from Kadyrov’s inner circle, in 2004, who threatened her?

V.Izmailov: Yes, and not only Kadyrov’s people. Shealso wrote about people like Yamadayev and Baisarov, so this also needs to be to considered and explored, and at ‘Novaya Gazeta’ we are following just such a path that we have designated.

E.Albats: So you are looking for people who had real motives to shut up Anya?

V.Izmailov: Yes, certainly, and who already tried to do this.

E.Albats: Another theory that was formulated by Moscow student Alexander Sukhov, he sent us this on the website, this is what he wrote: “We have two types of journalists the ones that long ago lay down before the authorities and have no right to call themselves journalists, and the second group, these are the truly principled journalists. Unfortunately, few of these remain and Ifear that the government has found a way get rid of them. Theysave face in the West by simply destroying them and writing it off as some murder for hire, but without a customer. Beware, my friends, Iam very afraid for you. Accept my sincerest condolences to her friends and relatives and to all of Russia. Thisis a great tragedy for the country, and a great victory for the government, for the authorities.” Again, by the way, he wonders whether Anna managed to get at least some of her materials to the editor: “but Iam afraid that if her hard drive was taken by the police, how could they not remove all the material?” Quite a lot of questions have come into the site from people who are inclined to think that the central government, not just the authorities in Chechnya, had reason to eliminate Anna Politkovskaya. Vyacheslav Izmailov?

V.Izmailov: As a matter of fact, many supported her, and since 2002she has moved about Chechnya practically illegally, and who has been helping her? Decent Russian servicemen helped her. Decent Chechen police officers helped her. Theyeven took her from village to village in the trunks of their cars.

E.Albats: And disguised her.

V.Izmailov: Yes, to keep the riffraff in epaulets away. There are these kinds among those who are investigating. Italked with these guys and Ibelieve they are good people and Iam sure that Anya’s materials, if they are there, that they we will find them and save them.

E.Albats: Vyacheslav, can Iask you something? Thepolicemen who were involved in the mysterious death of Yuri Shchekochikhin, whom Irecall was investigating the ‘Three Whales’ affair, is it possible that they too were honest once? (Shchekochikhin was ‘Novaya Gazeta’ deputy editor and an MP who died a few days before a trip to US to talk with the FBI about the alleged involvement of high-ranking FSB officials in corruption Ed.) And how about the people who were involved in the murder of Galina Starovoytova? (St. Petersburg MP and head of the newly-formed ‘Democratic Russia’ party who resisted the appointment of the former KGB general Yevgeny Primakov to Prime Minister Ed.) And how about the people who were involved in the murder of Vlad Listyev? (The chief of ORT TV who was shot dead in stairwell of his Moscow apartment building Ed.) And how about Dima Kholodov? (A military correspondent for ‘Moskovsky Komsomolets’, he was killed in Moscow when a booby-trapped briefcase he picked up in a railway station locker exploded in his newspaper office Ed) And how about Igor Domnikov? (A ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reporter who was hit on the head with a hammer in the stairwell of his Moscow apartment building Ed.) And how about Paul Khlebnikov? (The editor in chief of Russian version of Forbes magazine, he was killed by a hit man in Moscow Ed.) Iam not talking about any money that might be involved.

V.Izmailov: Iwill say this, that the people who were involved in Igor Domnikov’s murder helped us find the true killers. Eventhough we know who ordered the crime, there is a trial going on now in Kazan and we know who ordered the murder and we will name them in the paper, but Ithink that our main goal is to do this in court, to see that the people who ordered his murder are also punished, even though it will be very difficult.

A.Cherkasov: Slava, you are an optimist.

V.Izmailov: Yes, and so far as Yuri Shchekochikhin, back then, except for ‘Novaya Gazeta’, our law enforcement agencies did not consider it murder and so they did not look into it.

E.Albats: They did not even open a criminal case?

V.Izmailov: Yes, but right now ‘Novaya Gazeta’ has some data, and if it were not for this matter with Anna, we were prepared to publish, Roman Shleinov was, ready to publish. Wehad hoped that after this was published we would send this newly discovered evidence to the Prosecutor General’s Office so that they could open a criminal case.

E.Albats: Alexander Cherkasov, you are shaking your head, why so pessimistic?

A.Cherkasov: Here Vyacheslav Izmailov sits in the studio, my dear Major Izmailov, who, while employed by the Ministry of Defense, dragged captive soldiers around, and now he is sitting here without his epaulets. Certainly there are great investigators and beautiful prosecutors, Itoo was questioned on various matters and six months later here comes another prosecutor with the same questions and my testimony and evidence keeps disappearing from a criminal case. Thesystem is able to grind down individual, honest officers, so fears that

E.Albats: Thank you. Dmitry Mikhailovich, an engineer from Moscow, writes: “What is the Kremlin’s reaction to this heinous crime? Perhaps Dmitry Muratov, editor in chief of ‘Novaya Gazeta’ could appeal to President Vladimir Putin and ask for an intelligible explanation for the direct destruction of our most uncompromising Russian journalists.” By the way, today Vladimir Putin held a Security Council meeting, did you hear if they had anything to say about this?

E.Rykovtseva: No, nothing, not a word.

E.Albats: Well, probably, maybe, they had not yet learned, it was not reported.

E.Rykovtseva: Not a word from the Administration.

E.Albats: None that were reported, probably.

E.Rykovtseva: Yes, they were shielding their nerves.

E.Albats: One must think that he just does not know about it yet, otherwise Christian compassion, of course, would force him to say a few words, mindful of the fact that Anya has children, and, by the way, in February she was to have a granddaughter or grandson. Another theory for Anya’s murder is that it was a case of Russian Nazis, skinheads and other filth with similar properties. Iappeal to all three of you: what do you think, was this possible?

E.Rykovtseva: Ithink that Vyacheslav knows better, what percent of her articles were about these types, since she was closely engaged in that matter. Isimply do not remember such

V.Izmailov: Anya had articles on this subject, and Ican see this as one theory, yes, indeed, it could be possible.

E.Albats: On the website of ‘Russian Will’, in particular there is the Kurinovich (enemies of Russia) list, here all these Nazi lists have appeared and you might suspect a possible scenario where these guys are shooting those they identified to be enemies of Russia.

V.Izmailov: Yes, and they were very resentful, these pseudo-patriots were, that our army, which Anya often harassed, that she helped many servicemen and harassed and exposed those who committed dirty deeds, those who kidnapped and killed people.

E.Albats: Another theory that appeared an hour after Anya’s murder on the ‘Izvestiya’ website was that Anna Politkovskaya’s murder was not related to her professional activities. Oneof our colleagues, editor in chief Vladimir Mamontov, said something like, Iheard it was from this man, he said something along the lines of: “Why are you worrying about it? Sheran into someone nasty, and that’s it.” Do you have any information, Slava, where did ‘Izvestiya’ get this theory that Anya’s murder was not connected with her professional activities?

V.Izmailov: From nowhere. Theypulled this theory out of their hats. Theywish it were so. Asa matter of fact, other than her work as a journalist, Anya did nothing and could not do anything else. Shewas breathless from this work that she constantly had to do. Allthese visitors and their needs and their problems wore her out. Heroffice was full of letters and documents sent to her in the office. Sheshared an office with Galya Mursaliyeva, and she told her that she would probably never get through all of it, and so here yesterday the investigators were raking through it for 6or 7hours.

E.Rykovtseva: But the truth is that she knew where it would lead. Theyjust showed this film in the Ukraine once again, but never once in Russia, they showed this film in which she said that she would be killed. Either they would kill her in her apartment stairwell, just like they did to Starovoytova, or she would take a whiff of some bouquet and get poisoned again. Sheknew.

E.Albats: That is true. Shealso told me that she accepted life as a gift, because she understood that at any moment she could be killed.

E.Rykovtseva: Every article was a struggle.

V.Izmailov: On September 1st, 2004, when she traveled to Beslan, she was indeed poisoned and they were also statements similar to those expressed by Vladimir Mamontov. Theyreally poisoned her and that the forensics materials mysteriously disappeared. Thank God that Muratov and Sergey Sokolov went to Rostov and were able to get her back on her feet.

E.Albats: Well, unfortunately, the time for our broadcast has come to an end. Ourpager is continuing to receive messages. Oneof them is that Anna Politkovskaya the journalist was responsible for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya the person. Iwant to finish by reading a message from Professor Igor from Moscow: “The feeling is that Anna was killed at the front, where it is useless to search for a killer and as far as a motive, everything is straightforward. Itis a pity. Itis sad that this is so commonplace, and, in general, happens in ordinary lives as well.” Well, we are alive. Iwish everyone all the best, and goodbye.

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