Politkovskaya, Anna 1958-2006

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Politkovskaya, Anna 1958-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born August 30, 1958, in New York, NY; murdered in a gun shooting, October 7, 2006, in Moscow, Russia. Journalist and author. Politkovskaya was an awardwinning journalist whose criticism of Russian and Chechen leaders led many to speculate that her murder was a politically motivated assassination. A 1980 graduate of Moscow State University, she soon found work with the newspaper Izvestia, and later was a reporter for Obschaya Gazeta. Born in New York City to Russian parents who offered her a liberal education, Politkovskaya was determined to report on events in Russia and former Soviet republics truthfully. Such conviction caused her serious personal grief, however. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1999 because she spent so much time covering dangerous wars and insurgencies, and in 2001 she was arrested for covering the conflict in Chechnya, which was censored by the Russian government. Then, in 2004, she became dangerously sick and suspected she had been poisoned for covering a story about a hostage situation in the city of Beslan. Politkovskaya had also been a central figure in the 2002 hostage crisis in Moscow, where a number of Chechen rebels had trapped citizens in a theater. Politkovskaya tried to negotiate with them, but Russian authorities raided the theater, killing not only the terrorists but also over one hundred innocent people. Highly critical of the government led by President Vladimir Putin, Politkovskaya also wrote disparagingly of Russia's allied government leaders in Chechnya. She not only submitted numerous articles on their oppression of the citizenry, but also published several books, some of which were censored in her homeland. Her works include A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya (2001), A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya (2003), and her last book, Putin's Russia (2004). The recipient of many honors, such as the 2000 Russian Union of Journalists' Golden Pen Award and the 2004 OSCE Prize for Journalism and Democracy, Politkovskaya was clearly in danger of being targeted by those who wished her to keep silent about government oppression. She was fully aware of this and moved to Vienna, Austria, in 2001 after her arrest in Chechnya. Committed to her mission, however, she returned to Russia. She was working on a story accusing Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov's troops of torturing people to get confessions when she was shot while getting out of her apartment building elevator. The killing seemed to many like a professional assassination, but the perpetrator has not been found.



Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2006, p. A9.

New York Times, October 13, 2006, p. A3.

Times (London, England), October 9, 2006, p. 57.

Washington Post, October 8, 2006, p. A20.

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Politkovskaya, Anna 1958-2006

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Politkovskaya, Anna 1958-2006