Editor’s Note: Anna Politkovskaya was not able to send updates prior to her death due to the repressive and dangerous climate in Russia regarding the media. However, DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE Director Cal Skaggs was able to garner some news.
Skaggs learned that after filming ended, Politkovskaya continued her work as special correspondent for the Moscow independent daily, Novaya Gazeta. She continued to write about the plight of Chechen refugees and the aftereffects of the atrocities committed by both the rebels and the Russian forces in the two Chechen wars.
In the last 18 months she became even more outraged at the methods the Putin government uses to fight Islamic terrorism, methods she equates with the worst of Stalin's methods. She recently published a book on this subject, Putin’s Russia, her third book after A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya and Dispatches from Chechnya. Politkovskaya won many awards, including the Courage in Journalism Award given by the International Women’s Media Foundation in 2002, the Hermann-Kesten Medal given by PEN Germany in 2003 and the Civil Courage Prize given by the Northcote Parkinson Fund in 2005.
On September 1, 2004, while on a flight to cover the terrorist takeover of a school in Beslan, Politkovskaya was served a poisoned cup of tea. Her hospitalization prevented her from covering that story, but, she recovered her health and continued working.
In the fall of 2006, she was working on stories alleging torture by the government of Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the Kremlin-sponsored premier of Chechnya. On Saturday afternoon, October 7, 2006, having finished work on an article including photo and other evidence of torture by
the Kadyrov government, Politkovskaya was shot dead just outside her Moscow apartment. She was 48 years old.
Read more by and about Anna Politkovskaya and her work:
Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy
by Anna Politkovskaya
(Metropolitan Books, 2005)
The Dirty War
by Anna Politkovskaya
(Harvill Press, 2004)
A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya
by Anna Politkovskaya, Georgi M. Derluguian, Alexander Burry, Tatiana Tulchinsky
(University Of Chicago Press, 2003)
Guardian Unlimited: Dispatches from a Savage War
Guardian Unlimited: Daily Comment
NYTimes.com: Journalist Critical of Chechen War Is Shot Dead
(Free registration required)
Read about the other journalists featured in the film >>