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This is how we remember Anna Politkovskaya

Unfortunately, it is not that Anna Politkovskaya was killed on Saturday, but that it did not happen before.


[announced murder] Something fateful rests on Anna Politkovskaya's death, which occurred when she sat 7 on Saturday. October at 16.10 was hit by three shots from a muffled Izh gun. She was only about to retrieve the last three bags of food in the car, when a man, according to a cloudy surveillance camera, shot her down on the first floor of her block on Lesnaya Street in Moscow.

Her fate is the story of a notified murder. She almost announced the murder herself, as when she spoke to Reporters Without Borders Vienna Conference in December last year: “People sometimes pay with life to say out loud what they think. In fact, you could even be killed for giving me information. I'm not the only one in danger. "

Or as when Politkovskaya in his last column in Ny Tid (29.09.) Could tell Norwegian readers the following, under the title «Russia's new Middle Ages»:

"President Putin's criminal groups in Chechnya are now spreading their cruel abuses and" Chechenizing "the rest of Russia."

Unfortunately, she got it right. It was not pessimism, but realism she described.

Tragic fate

Politkovskaya knew that her critical articles on Vladimir Putin, the Chechnya war and Russian abuses could cost her her life. Still, she continued.

In 2001, she had to flee to Austria after threats from a policeman she had written critically about. In September 2004, she was poisoned on the plane on her way to Beslan, where she was to negotiate with the hostages at the school. Instead, she was lying in a coma under the ragnarok.

Politkovskaya was killed on Putin's birthday, two days after she revealed on Radio Liberty new video documentation of the murder of Chechnya's Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, by chance on his 30 anniversary. Her own 48 anniversary was then marked eight days earlier, without celebration. His father had just died after a heart attack, which he had on his way to the hospital to visit her dead and sick mother.

Despite the tragic fate of Politkovskaya: Her journalistic struggle in Russia will continue. Or as Roman Shleynov, the editor of dig journalism in her Novaja Gazeta newspaper, tells us on the phone: "We have both a journalist to cover the Chechnya war and a female journalist to follow Politkovskaya journalism in Beslan."

New Time columnist

At the end of January, she enthusiastically agreed to become a columnist in Ny Tid by switching to magazine information. A total of nine reports from today's Russia were delivered by Politkovskaya to Ny Tid. Always precise, always engaged, always relevant, always open to dialogue on topics. As in the planning of her penultimate column, September 1, on the second anniversary of the Beslan tragedy. On August 18, she sent an email:

“I have just returned from the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan. I want to write something from this region. OK? "

Of course it was ok. Especially when it emerged that she had found a new secret document about the Beslan school, which showed that the "secret services knew it would happen, but did nothing to stop it".

Her story from the school in Beslan touched me. I sent her an e-mail praising her for the text and told about my own son's first day of school that week, as a contrast to the Beslan kids' school start. The world's perhaps bravest digging journalist, in his response, in the midst of his busy work on war and abuse, also showed his thoughtful side: "Thank you, Dag. And congratulations on your son's first school days. A big step! ”

The many strong reactions to Politkovskaya's death, worldwide, show that her journalism itself was a major step for Russia. Obviously a big step for her killers. Now the challenge for everyone, both inside and outside Russia, is to follow in her footsteps.

Anna Politkovskaya (1958-2006)

  • Born in New York, USA, by diplomat parents 30.08.1958. Killed in Moscow 7.10.2006. Mother of two adult children.
  • Russia's most famous journalist. Wrote regular columns in the Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta, columnist in Ny Tid from February 1999, 10.
  • Author of the books A Journey into Hell (Pax, 2001) and Putin's Russia (Cappelen, 2005). A Dirty War: A Russian reporter in Chechnya (2003) is not translated.
  • Winner of awards from, among others, the Russian Journalists 'Association (2001), the Pen USA (2002), the Norwegian Writers' Association (2003) and the Olaf Palme Prize (2004).
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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