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July 8th, 2004
The Russian Newspaper Murders
Togliatti Uncovered: Introduction

Russia’s industrial city of Togliatti, where killings attributed to organized crime occur nearly every week, is home to a trifecta of corruption that links rich industrialists to politicians, police, and the courts. The city’s only independent newspaper, the TOGLIATTI OBSERVER, has been integral to exposing these wrongdoings. As a result of its reportage, in 2002, Valery Ivanov, editor in chief of the paper, was shot to death. Eighteen months later, Alexei Sidorov, Ivanov’s successor, was found dead, the victim of a brutal stabbing. The reprinted TOGLIATTI OBSERVER article “Cold War” that exposed local corruption, and which is thought to be one of the catalysts for Ivanov’s murder. “How the TOGLIATTI OBSERVER was born” is an excerpt from an article Ivanov wrote about investigative journalism and the founding of the newspaper.

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