Jan 29 2007

Anna Politkovskaya

Published by at 7:38 am under All General Discussions

The contract killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya is many times seen as a contract killing by Russian government agents. It is no doubt a contract killing, but my suspicions have been that she was killed because she was getting too close to some uncomfortable truths regarding things in Chechnya – organized crime details. A review of her death

When Politkovskaya finished, she drove home in her silver Vaz 2110 and parked a few feet from the entrance to her building. She carried two bags of groceries up to her apartment, on the seventh floor, in the building’s tiny elevator and dropped them at the door. Then she went down to fetch the rest of her parcels. When the elevator opened on the ground floor, her killer was waiting. He shot her four times—the first two bullets piercing her heart and lungs, the third shattering her shoulder, with a force that drove Politkovskaya back into the elevator. He then administered what is referred to in Moscow, where contract killings have become routine, as the kontrolnyi vystrel—the control shot. He fired a bullet into her head from inches away. Then he dropped his weapon, a plastic 9-mm. Makarov pistol whose serial number had been filed away, and slipped into the darkening afternoon.

The detail in question, in my mind, is the leaving of the gun. A plastic 9mm is professional’s choice of weapon, and something anyone tied to the government would avoid. With guns a dime a dozen the selection of this weapon is interesting. At this range a slingshot could kill. But the real question is why drop it there, at the scene? There are arguments pro and con I guess being detained right near the scene, but the truth is any gloves being worn would have the tell tale gunpowder marks (and probably blood splatter) so leaving the gun is not really going to get you too far. But leaving the gun does send a message. The question is who would benefit from that message.

In crimes like this, the obvious is usually and illusion.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Anna Politkovskaya”

  1. Ermit says:

    She wrote nonsense about Chechnya like Shamil Basaev being a KGB agent. So she had no sources on both sides of the war. She was even said to be a KGB agent herself. I think that she was killed to freighten other reporters. I am not sure that it was a contract killing. It rather seems to me that she was killed by a regular KGB officer, like Litvinenko. Every professional killers always drop his gun at the site of the crime to get rid of it. The guns lead to nothing.

  2. Snapple says:

    Many western scholars do think that the security services were involved in the apartment bombings. It gets really complicated.

    Plus, some regular police arrested some secret police types with a bomb in an apartment. They said they were practicing.

    The regular cops sometimes catch the state security doing bad things.

    The security services were involved with Basaev.


  3. Snapple says:

    This article by John Dunlop discusses the collaboration of the Russian state security with Basaev.


  4. Snapple says:

    Many Western experts on Russia agree with Politkovskaya’s views.

  5. Snapple says:

    There was a commission in Russia that investigated these bombings and murders. Those people on the commission were killed, too.

  6. Snapple says:

    This site has a lot of information about Chechnya.

  7. turboruss says:

    You right, Snapple. One person of comission – Serguei Yushenkov – were killed. But you know what? He were killed by co-chairman of ‘Liberal Russia’, founded by Boris Berezovsky. This crime was cleared. Mikhail Kodanev – has been sentenced to 20 years in custody for organizing the killing of state duma deputy Sergei Yushenkov. Alexander Kulachinskiy – the killer – was convicted for 20 years too. Third person – Alexander Vinnik, Kodanev assistant, get less – 10 years.

  8. Ermit says:

    That is right. Jamestown Foundation regularly republished Politkovskaya’s claims translated by them into English from Novaya Gazeta. But nobody in the US ever republished Litvinenko’s claims about Al Zawahiri, the second man in Al Qaeda, being an FSB agent, and accusing Moscow of 9/11. I wonder why. At any rate, both of them were considered by many people to be double agents, Litvinenko and Politkovskaya. And after his poisoning Litvinenko was said by an FSB official to have travelled to Moscow in mid-October 2006 to give evidence in Politkovskaya’s murder case.