The Assassination of Anna Politkovskaya

Josie Klakström
8 min readJul 30, 2020

“We don’t give out Pulitzer prizes here. Instead, assassination is the top honor, proof that a journalist has uncovered an important story that implicated the powerful in evil deeds.” — Vedomosti, Russian business newspaper.

Her desk remains as it was almost 14 years later. It stands as a memorial of her life and for the lives of other murdered journalists at the Novaya Gazeta. A reminder of why they do their jobs, and the danger of the work they do.

Anna Politkovskaya via The Independent

Born on the 30th August 1958 in New York, Anna Politkovskaya was an investigative journalist, known for her heavy-hitting articles on war and political corruption.

Spending most of her childhood living in Moscow, it was only fitting that she attended university there too. She graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in journalism in 1980 and married fellow student, Alexander Politkovsky.

Wedding to Alexander Politkovsky via Echo of Moscow

In 1982, Anna joined Izvestia, a daily Russian newspaper, where she worked as a reporter and editor in the emergency and accident column.

Anna moved on to Obshchaya Gazeta in 1994, where she was the assistant chief editor and a reporter. Under Yegor Yakovlev, she began to write about the refugee crisis and other social issues. In 1998, Anna visited Chechnya to interview President Maskhadov, and continued to return numerous times after this, for stories and even hostage negotiations.

She stayed at Obshchaya Gazeta until 1999 when she moved on to Novaya Gazeta, where she started to make her mark on investigative journalism. The newspaper had a critical viewpoint on the post-Soviet regime and was keen to report on the issue. This is where Anna started to write about Chechnya and life under Putin’s rule in Russia.

Anna was beginning to make a name for herself in the West and was commissioned to write Putin’s Russia; an account of her views of the new President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. She wrote;

“This book is also about the…

Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing.