Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist famous for her critical coverage of Chechnya and Vladimir Putin's policies, was shot to death in Moscow Saturday. Russian-language blogs are awash in speculation on who might be behind the murder.
Anton Nossik (LJ user dolboeb, aka “the Guru of Russian Internet“) points (RUS) at Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's prime minister, without naming him; the Russian Yandex Blogs portal currently lists this post as the third most popular one in the Russian blogosphere:
The murder of Politkovskaya: cui prodest
The name of the contractor is absolutely obvious – it's just enough to know some widely available facts.
I'll cite them here, for the public record.
Fact number one. While Chechnya's prime minister [Sergei Abramov] was closely working on investigating the issue of who, how and where extorts money in Chechnya for “rebuilding the republic,” he kept getting attacked. The last attack – a car crash – was the fifth one, if I remember correctly. And the most successful one. Abramov was out of the game.
Fact number two: An hour and a half before her death, Anna Politkovskaya told about her latest investigations in an interview to the Caucasus Knot. She was investigating – surprise! – the same mechanisms of money extortion, corruption and stealing of state funds that Abramov had been looking for in his time (and, to his misfortune, kept finding). Politkovskaya had the misfortune to declare publicly that she had the documents at her disposal that would allow her to recreate the whole corrupted scheme of financing the “Chechen national projects.” The journalist's fate was decided.
Fact number three: of course, if there had only been an interview with the Caucasus Knot, Politkovskaya would have been alive now. Unfortunately, somewhat earlier, she managed to tell about it in an interview with Radio Liberty. And it's likely that the people whose plans could've been disrupted by her investigation had their own sources of information, which allowed them to know the current interests and creative plans of the deceased.
What has to be noted is the […] recklessness that accompanied the contractor's decision to tie the long-awaited “fact of liquidation” to the happy state holiday [Vladimir Putin's birthday]. I have no doubts he'll be allowed to get away with Politkovskaya, just as his father was forgiven for the jihad he had declared against Russia. Because there are plenty of false directions in which the investigation could be diverted. […] As for the actual hit man, I think the casting for the role of his corpse has already begun in the morgues of Chechnya's hospitals.