Assassination of Anna Politkovskaya - Possibly Related Events in The Aftermath of Her Death

Possibly Related Events in The Aftermath of Her Death

Politkovskaya's assassination was discussed by the media in connection with the deaths of other critics of Putin, including her colleague from Novaya Gazeta Yuri Shchekochikhin, Russian Duma members Galina Starovoitova and Sergei Yushenkov, and journalist Artyom Borovik:

  • A week after the assassination, Alexander Litvinenko accused Putin of sanctioning the murder. Two weeks after this statement, Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium. Two days before his death on 24 November 2006, he wrote a statement, in case he "does not make it". He said:
"Name the bastard. Anna Politkovskaya did not do it, so I will, for both of us. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people".

According to some reports, Litvinenko tried to investigate Politkovskaya's death. He was also writing a book about FSB activities including concentration camps in Chechnya. In that regard, he had frequent contacts with Politkovskaya. Litvinenko's poisoning was remarkably similar to the thallium poisoning of KGB defector Nikolai Khokhlov, whom Politkovskaya had interviewed for Novaya Gazeta.

  • On 18 November 2006, former pro-government Chechen commander and FSB officer Movladi Baisarov was shot dead in Moscow. Allegedly, Baisarov intended to give evidence that proved his political opponents' guilt of kidnapping and murder, and give testimony about Politkovskaya's assassination. Novaya Gazeta was preparing a publication linking Baisarov's murder with that of Anna Politkovskaya. Journalist Vyacheslav Izmailov, who worked closely with Politkovskaya on her stories about human rights abuses in Chechnya, said former Grozny Mayor Beslan Gantamirov had come to Novaya Gazeta's offices two weeks after she was murdered and said armed men close to Ramzan Kadyrov had been sent to Moscow with orders to kill three people: Politkovskaya, Baisarov and Gantamirov.
  • On November 20, 2006, former KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky asserted that the murders of Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and others meant that FSB had returned to the old KGB practice of government-ordered political assassinations. Gordievsky was poisoned in November 2007, allegedly by a Russian agent.
  • On November 24, 2006, the day of Litvinenko's death, Russian economist and politician Yegor Gaidar alleged he was poisoned after drinking a cup of tea.

It still remains unclear who ordered the assassination. Some speculations were fueled by the fact that she was killed on Putin's birthday. Historian Yuri Felshtinsky and political scientist Vladimir Pribylovsky commented that none of the official suspects had personal motives to kill Politkovskaya. This led them to suggest several possible contractors: "the central leadership of the secret service - as a birthday present for Putin" or "Ramzan Kadyrov, also as a birthday present for Putin, in the hopes of receiving a present in return - the presidency of Chechnya (the hope was realized)".

On the other hand Ramzan Kadyrov alleged that oligarch Boris Berezovsky was behind Politkovskaya's killing. "We would need Politkovskaya today to show what she used to say, and what there is now. People arrive and walk freely around Grozny. A normal life! How could our enemies use Politkovskaya effectively? By killing her. Who did it? Berezovsky, I believe," Kadyrov was quoted as saying in April 2009.

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