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Anna Politkovskaya

(New York, 1965 - Moscow, 2006)

WRITER murdered

Politkovskaya was murdered on 7th October 2006 in the lift of her apartment block in central Moscow.

Born in New York to a family of Soviet diplomats of Ucrainian origin, she studied journalism in Moscow and, after graduating in 1980, began working for the newspaper Izvestia.

In 1999 she began working at the Novaya Gazeta, for whom she investigated and wrote until the day of her murder, working particularly on the two wars in Chechnya and related events.  After receiving death threats for having reported on atrocities against civilians, she had to go into exile for a number of months in 2001.  Her work was not limited to reporting on Chechnya: she was also involved in negotiating the release of hostages, including in the Dubrovka theatre in Moscow in 2002.  Whilst en route to the Beslan school in 2004, she fell suddenly and violently ill, the likely victim of an attempted poisoning.

In her articles she reported on all injustices and atrocities committed against the civil population by both federal Russian forces and Chechnyan authorities or rebels.  When she was murdered, she was working on an article about suspected torture practices carried out by the security forces of the pro-Russian Chechnyan prime minister, Ramzan Kadirov. Politkovskaya was murdered on 7th October 2006 in the lift of her apartment block in central Moscow.  Primary investigations pointed towards a contract killer, as she was shot twice, including once in the head, but who ordered the killing has still not been resolved.  For many, the fact that the assassination took place on the day of president Vladimir Putin’s birthday is of particular relevance.