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In memory of Anna
Written by Марина Дайнеко   
Пятница, 12 Октябрь 2007
One of many memorial services dedicated to the anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya took place in New York City on October 7th. It was organized by a group of admirers led by broadcaster Anton Krylov, who is also the initiator of a campaign to rename a New York City street in honor of Anna Politkovskaya.

Exactly one year ago, Anna Politkovskaya, a columnist for the Russian publication ‘Novaya Gazeta’ and famous for her critical articles on the Caucasus and human rights, was shot dead in her apartment building on Lesnaya Street, Moscow.

The death of the journalist provoked a widespread, international outcry.
The rally began in front of Hunter College in Manhattan, not far from the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN.

This location was also chosen because, in addition to the Russian mission, about a hundred yards away is Sakharov and Bonner Corner, named in 1984 as a sign of protest by the Americans against the arrest and exile to Gorky of the famous scientist and human rights activist. Just like Andrei Dmitriyevich Sakharov and Yelena Georgiyevna Bonner, Anna Politkovskaya was a thorn in the side of the Russian government. Boris Nemtsov, a member of the board of the Russian Union of Right Forces, while speaking in Moscow at another rally in memory of Anna Politkovskaya that same day, said: “Lackey Russia has Putin, while free Russia has Anna.”
Public figures and politicians were in attendance at the memorial rally in the Hunter College auditorium. Anton Krylov opened the rally and spoke about his trip to Moscow, and how he visited the spot where Politkovskaya had been murdered. He quoted Yelena Bonner, who said the Russian government and public both share responsibility for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, as does the global community.


While addressing the audience, Edward Klein (in the 3rd photo from the top), the famous human rights activist, publisher, and president of the A. D. Sakharov foundation, recalled the main stages of Anna Politkovskaya’s life, and noted her interview with Ramzan Kadyrov in 2004.

After listing books written by Anna, he quoted a passage from an article on Anna by New York Times correspondent Celestine Bowen, and in conclusion he read a passage from Anna Politkovskaya’s last book, ‘Russian Diary’.

In her speech Katarina Nepomnyaschaya of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University said that Anna’s death affected not only Russia, but also many Americans. She spoke about an upcoming seminar and an evening in memory of Politkovskaya at Columbia University, and introduced composer Alexander Bakshi, who had written a requiem in memory of Anna.

Other speakers included memorial rally organizers Nelly Braginsky (in the fourth photo) and Ari Kagan; both are deputy deans of the Journalism Department at Hunter College. Also speaking was John Wollock, professor of political science. In his speech he lashed out at the U.S. administration for the war in Iraq, and concluded with regret: “our journalists have laid down their arms” (he is shown speaking with Krylov in the fifth photo from the top).

After the memorial rally, participants marched from Hunter College, past the Russian mission, to Sakharov and Bonner Corner, where the rally ended with a protest against the policies of the Putin regime, and Russia’s transformation into a totalitarian state. “I don’t wish to be a citizen of Russia,” said Anton Krylov. “I don’t believe in the sincerity of the Kremlin, and when they call on us to renounce our Russian citizenship, I think they’re just using it against us.”

As a sign of protest against Russia’s return to a time of totalitarianism, Anton Krylov burned his Russian passport.

Moneys collected at the commemorative event were donated to Russian-language journalists (in the bottom photo): Arnold Malievsky (‘Russkaya Reklama’), Vladimir Kozlovsky (‘Novoye Russkoye Slovo’), Emma Topol (‘Voice of America’), and others.

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