Russia: Remembering Anna Politkovskaya

Oct. 7 marks two years since the assassination of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. No one has been jailed for the crime so far, but three men are expected to go to trial soon for their suspected involvement in the murder.

Below is a selection of today's commemorative posts from the Russophone blogosphere.

LJ user emarinicheva wrote (RUS):

Anna Politkovskaya was killed two years ago. I remember that the day of the funeral was just like today – rainy. Many, many people came to the cemetery. Familiar faces, recognizable. To some extent, it was comforting to be next to them… Why was it so painful? People like Anna stood against trouble, lies and hypocrisy that were coming upon us (and which have eventually prevailed). She didn't fit into the “new world order” in this one country STYLISTICALLY. Now we live just like that, without Anna, without her existence on the earth. It is tough. […]

LJ user viking-nord wrote (RUS):

Two years ago Anna Politkovskaya was murdered. A true Journalist and a real Citizen, a Patriot of Russia.

In general, we have an extremely perverted and, I'd say, a wild notion of what patriotism is. Many people consider it patriotic to beat up a Caucasus native in the street, to bomb Georgia, to show [their] behinds to the USA. No, that's not patriotism, that's husk, which will be causing nothing but shame in our offspring.

What Anna Politkovskaya was doing was patriotic. It is patriotic to tell the truth, to expose the liars among officials, to fight for world peace, to walk alone through a mob of crazed thugs who have small and great power, and, the main thing, not to be scared of them. The bullet was the only thing that they could stop her with. Because she didn't need to make a career, nor did she need the regime's favors, the status of a courtier or a pocket [tamed] journalist, all she needed was just to tell the truth. And it was impossible to ask her to be silent, impossible to bribe or intimidate her.

I didn't agree with her on everything, but I respected her as a Journalist, and as a Patriot. The best thing we can do to honor the memory of Anna Politkovskaya is to win the fight for freedom of speech, for the priority of human rights, for the democratic state. This is the only way to honor the memory of this person.

We remember…

LJ user gengri posted an announcement of a memorial rally to take place at 7 PM in St. Petersburg today – and pointed out (RUS) the reason why the event has not been approved by city officials:

[…] It appears that from 7 to 9 PM some maintenance work will be taking place in the park at Troitskaya Square. The city administration's Committee on the Issues of Legality offered to hold the event not by the [Solovki] Stone, but in the 50th Anniversary of October Park at Prospekt Metallistov. What kind of people are these…

According to LJ user shoorman, the St. Petersburg rally was expected to take place by the Solovki Stone despite the official ban – the blogger cited a local politician (RUS) who had made a media statement about the upcoming rally:

[…] Nevertheless, the memorial for Anna Politkovskaya will take place at the traditional spot – by the Solovki Stone at Troitskaya Square. “Anyone can come up to the stone whenever he or she wishes to. Despite the blatant cynicism present in the actions of the city authorities, we will still come at this time and on this day to the Solovki Stone to honor Anna Politkovskaya's memory. It's not just our right, but it's also our duty to her. And it does not require approval of any committees. Everything will be quiet and peaceful, the way it has to be during minutes of grief,” commented one of the event's organizers, the leader of St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko Party, Maksim Reznik. […]

LJ user tupikin wrote (RUS) about his expectations for the rally on Pushkin Square in Moscow – and for the outcome of the investigation into Politkovskaya's murder:

Today, Oct. 7, 2008, marks two years since the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was writing articles that made someone in the North Caucasus and (possibly) in Moscow uncomfortable. The investigation should determine exactly who [they were making uncomfortable]. But it is unlikely that it will. Not in this country, not at this time.

If a million people showed up for today's rally in her memory in Moscow, maybe the truth would be told, who knows. Or perhaps two million are needed for that, or three? What kind of rally should gather for the regime in the country to change?

A meeting is actually starting in memory of Politkovskaya in Moscow, at this very moment at Pushkin Square. How many people will take part? I don't think there'll be more than 500. And since it's raining heavily – maybe the total of 300.

Some of those who are late, by the way, will probably still be able to make it there. Maybe I'll make it there, too. We'll see.

LJ user pesnyasolveig wrote (RUS) that this year she did not want to attend the memorial rally in Moscow. Here is why:

I don't know whether I'll go to the rally in memory of Anna Stepanovna [Politkovskaya]. Up until now, I have been attending all the events. But today I don't feel like it. Last time, at the end of August, on [Politkovskaya's] birthday – I was listening to [Garry Kasparov] – and it hurt a lot. It hurt because they've started to trade in memory. They made a show where there shouldn't have been one, it wasn't proper, wasn't human. I just remember. And I want everyone to remember. Today is October 7. The day to remember Anna Politkovskaya. Two years without…

LJ user aleshru, who did attend the Moscow rally, posted (RUS) a photo of smiling Mikhail Kasyanov, ex-member of the opposition coalition “The Other Russia.”

LJ user posmixator posted two pictures (UKR) from a tiny memorial event at Kyiv's Independence Square.

LJ markgrigorian wrote about (RUS) and posted pictures from the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Awards 2008 event, held at the Frontline Club in London on Oct. 6:

The annual Anna Politkovskaya Awards ceremony has taken place at the Frontline Club in London.

This is the second event of this kind already. This time the award went to the Afghan activist Malalai Joya. A totally amazing woman – fearless and clever. Just think of it, she has been courageous enough to stand up against corruption in Karzai's government and against the Taleban movement.

After that, even though she has become a parliament member, she is receiving threats and is forced to constantly hide, change her location. She has been chased out of parliament.

Malalai is not tall, but full of energy and fearless.

She burst into tears when she received the award, and then delivered a passionate speech against the U.S. and Britain.


[photo of Joya]

Natasha Estemirova, a journalist from [Chechnya's capital] Grozny, was there, too. She received the award last year. This time, she talked about the events in Ingushetia. Very briefly, but very passionately.

[photo of Estemirova]

It is indeed very difficult in Ingushetia now. Some politicians and experts are equating the situation there with civil war. They are talking about power gap there, chaos, constant murders, blood feud…

Anna Politkovskaya's sister, Yelena Kudimova, was there as well.

[photo of Kudimova]

And, finally, Marianna Katsarova, the organizer and the inspiration behind both the award and the annual meeting, a human rights activist and a feminist. She is the head of the RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) organization.

[photo of Katsarova]

It turned out to be a very emotional evening. Kudos to Marianna!

LJ user tapirr posted a selection of links to Russian-language resources on Anna Politkovskaya – including Masha Novikova's documentary about Anna Politkovskaya: “Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline” (in Russian, with English subtitles).

LJ user l-dream posted a Feb. 2006 photo of Politkovskaya and wrote (RUS):

This is what she looked like the last time I saw her.


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