The murder that killed free media in Russia

Shaun Walker writes: No other reporter has been assigned Anna Politkovskaya’s desk in Novaya Gazeta’s newsroom. It remains as a memorial, alongside her photograph and those of other murdered journalists at the newspaper, and as a reminder of the danger of the work.

Ten years after Politkovskaya was shot in the lobby of her apartment block in Moscow, Novaya Gazeta continues to be one of the few outlets for hard-hitting independent journalism in Russia. Its reporters still work from the North Caucasus, one the most dangerous part of the region.

In September, Elena Kostyuchenko, a reporter with Novaya, travelled to Beslan in North Ossetia to cover the 12th anniversary of the siege in which 334 people died, including 186 children.

Politkovskaya had attempted to make the same journey back in 2004, but fainted on the plane on her way there. Doctors believe she was poisoned to prevent her from reporting.

Nevertheless, Novaya worked tirelessly to investigate what happened at Beslan, and published a number of reports suggesting explosives planted by Russian special forces to try to end the siege had been responsible for many of the deaths. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email