Aftermath of a murder

This Washington Post editorial on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya bears the telltale indignation of editorial board member Anne Applebaum and highlights facts that had escaped my attention:

IT HAS NOW been 14 days since Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow. No one has been arrested for the crime, which is hardly surprising: None of the dozen other killings of journalists since Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president has been solved. This one eliminated one of the fiercest and bravest critics of his government, a reporter who had tenaciously documented the depravity of Mr. Putin’s war against Chechnya. We don’t have any evidence implicating the Kremlin, but it’s revealing to examine how Mr. Putin and his regime have behaved over the past few days.
The president’s first reaction was a strange silence. While politicians, media outlets and statesmen in Russia and around the world condemned Ms. Politkovskaya’s murder, no word came from Mr. Putin for three days. When finally compelled to speak, at a joint news conference in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Putin offered a rote condemnation of the attack. He then disparaged Ms. Politkovskaya, saying that “the level of her influence on political life in Russia was utterly insignificant.” He made the ugly suggestion that foreign-based enemies of his government were somehow behind the killing — a claim echoed in the state-controlled press. “We have information, and it is reliable, that many people hiding from Russian justice have long been nurturing the idea of sacrificing somebody in order to create a wave of anti-Russia feeling in the world,” he said.
Really? If so, Mr. Putin’s enemies also must have found a way to manipulate his own security forces…

Courtesy of RealClearPolitics.


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