Anna Politkovskaya was an outstanding woman, devoted writer, and Human Rights activist. On October 7th 2006, a group of cowards assassinated her because they were afraid to face the truth. She was murdered because she exposed the crimes of the Russian government. Throughout the years Politkovskaya had been tracked down, followed, and investigated but that did not discourage her. Even after several failed assassination attempts, she kept going because she knew that she possessed a gift that was no match for the Russian government. She had the gift of writing, and wrote about the facts. Anna revealed the secrets that government tried kept hidden, and exposed their evil deeds. Even though her life was at stake she never gave up, she knew that it was her duty to keep the world informed. The world will never forget her. We salute Anna Politkovskaya.
posted by Justice For North Caucasus - Anna Politkovskaya. on December, 2006 as Anna Politkovskaya
PUTIN'S COLONIAL WAR On 6 August 1996, three days before Yeltsin was to stumble through the especially shortened ceremony inaugurating his second term as Russian President, Chechen forces suddenly attacked and recaptured a string of major towns, including the battle-blasted capital, Grozny. It was the success of this assault—coupled with the unending and increasingly unpopular stream of Russian casualties—that persuaded Yeltsin to sue for peace, and within a month General Aleksandr Lebed and the Chechens’ military commander Aslan Maskhadov had signed the Khasavyurt accords, seemingly bringing to an end the brutal conflict that has been dubbed ‘Yeltsin’s Vietnam’. Five years later, Russia is once again involved in a murderous war in Chechnya, waged as before largely on a civilian population living beneath ruins or in ‘filtration centres’ that echo unapologetically Nazi concentration camps or the Soviet Gulag. But where the first Chechen war was widely unpopular, seen as a needless waste of lives and an unwarranted use of force, Putin’s war has until now commanded widespread support, as an ‘anti-terrorist operation’—the action of a strong state that means to rein in lawlessness on its periphery, no matter how daunting the task, and in so doing regain some measure of its former greatness. Yeltsin’s Vietnam has become Putin’s Falklands. Still more sombre analogies can be found: as Anna Politkovskaya writes in A Dirty War, ‘the tragic terrorist bombings in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Buinaksk [in September 1999] are far too rapidly coming to resemble another distant event: the burning of the Reichstag.’ Anna Politkovskaya has written on Chechnya for the Moscow-based newspaper Novaia gazeta since July 1999, and the present volume gathers her dispatches from the North Caucasus up to January of this year. The book has been widely praised as a principled and unflinching exposé of Russia’s conduct, garnering the author prestigious awards from the Russian Union of Journalists and Amnesty International. Earlier this year she was arrested, abused and threatened with rape and execution by FSB personnel in Chechnya, after she probed too much into allegations of Russian torture of Chechen civilians; here she braves the streets of Grozny despite the snipers and the high incidence of kidnapping, using the pages of her newspaper to publicize the names of Russian officials responsible for withholding supplies from refugees, and to wage a campaign to evacuate the inhabitants of Grozny’s old people’s home. A Dirty War is frequently devastating about Russia’s barbaric conduct of the war; but despite the author’s brave and honourable intentions, the book is shot through with the prejudices and incomprehension subtending both the current war and its historical antecedents. Russia has claimed dominion over Chechnya since the days of its Imperial expansion southwards beyond the Terek River—Grozny (meaning ‘terrible’ or ‘awe-inspiring’) was founded by General Aleksei Ermolov in 1818 as a garrison town from which to conduct a steady pacification of the mountain peoples of the North Caucasus. This policy did not prove entirely successful, however; the history of the region has been littered with instances of rebellions which proved hard for Russia to quell—the most notorious being the uprising led by Imam Shamil, which lasted from 1829 to 1859. Further uprisings occurred in Chechnya in 1905, and again in the Soviet period, in 1917–21, 1929, 1937 and 1942—this last doubtless contributing to Stalin’s decision to deport the entire Chechen nation, together with the neighbouring Ingush, to Kazakhstan, whence they returned in 1957. Having earned a reputation for fractiousness, the Chechens were mistrusted by both Russian and Soviet authorities, marginalized from positions of power; the Chechens have, however, proved extraordinarily adept at living in the cracks between state authority, often flourishing in illicit trade networks and criminal gangs in European Russia. In the years of exile, this impassioned resistance to alien authority combined with a forceful sense of national humiliation, and when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate Chechen nationalism expressed itself in urgent demands for full independence—backed by a prosperous Chechen diaspora. This double legacy of resistance to and successful subversion of state authority proved invaluable to the Chechens in the war of 1994–6, but—as elegantly chronicled by Anatol Lieven in Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power (1998)—it has also hamstrung any attempts to establish a viable state since then, and has given a sad degree of credence to claims that Chechnya’s only law is lawlessness. In 1991, the Yeltsin government was convinced that, were Chechnya to gain independence, the rest of the North Caucasus would follow and the region’s many nationalities—the Arabs called the area ‘Language Mountain’—would be plunged into ethnic anarchy; the ‘domino effect’ might then spread to others of the Russian Federation’s national autonomous areas and republics. That this failed to occur can be explained by their economic dependence on Moscow, as well as the continued dominance of local Soviet party and managerial elites. Apart from Chechnya, the only place where substantial autonomy of any kind (let alone independence) was actively sought, and achieved, was Tatarstan, which in 1994 negotiated with Moscow a separate federal treaty. No such compromise was ever contemplated by the then Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev, and Moscow initially preferred to support and arm Dudayev’s opponents, in the hope of installing a more pliable regime. The manifest weakness of this opposition, together with a string of hijackings on Chechnya’s borders, blamed on the separatists, provided the rationale for Moscow’s intervention in the autumn of 1994. Putin’s policy in Chechnya has replicated many of the features of Yeltsin’s: an initial pretext of dealing with lawlessness; an attempt to install a pro-Moscow puppet regime (this time headed by Ahmad-Hadji Kadyrov, the former Chief Mufti of Chechnya); and, of course, the presumption that the result would be, in the famously ill-starred words of Nicholas II’s Interior Minister Viacheslav Pleve in 1904, ‘a small victorious war’. But where Yeltsin’s blundering and brutal intervention was at least in part motivated by a concern to preserve Russia’s territorial integrity, Putin’s was driven by a need to manipulate the fears and prejudices of the electorate, by cold calculation and bottomless cynicism—and by the Russian military’s burning desire to reverse the humiliations of the previous war. Politkovskaya is frequently illuminating on the pervasiveness of this cynicism, and what it might portend—as in the reference to the Reichstag fire, and elsewhere a description of Putin as an incipient Pinochet. She is also unafraid of comparing Russian police harassment and unlawful detention of ‘people of Caucasian nationality’—Chechen or otherwise—to the Nazi targeting of Jews and Gypsies. Her account of the Russian military lays bare an unrelenting decline of morale and, most terrifyingly, of basic humanity—from the commercial exploitation of war casualties by the private firm Military Commemoration Ltd. to the abduction of recruits to the front in the middle of the night; from the rancid food with which soldiers are expected to fill fighting stomachs to random acts of terror and large-scale atrocities, such as the massacre at Novye Aldy. There are chilling moments here, such as an interview with Major-General Anatoly Shamanov, who announces that ‘kindness must have its limits . . . If the bandits do not understand our code of ethics, they must be destroyed. If someone falls ill, they hurt the patient by removing the affected organ.’ One of the most disturbing pronouncements in this idiom comes from Putin himself, announcing on Russian television in early November 1999 that he would ‘corner the bandits in the shithouse and wipe them out.’ There is much, then, in Politkovskaya’s book that is praiseworthy and even necessary: as Thomas de Waal writes in his preface to the volume, it is ‘the nearest thing yet written to a correct diagnosis.’ However, much of the good work is unravelled by a few stray, but damning sentences. The process begins with such crudely prejudicial statements as ‘Ruslan is a devout Muslim. But you’d never know it. Not a single word, look or movement betrays his inner faith, let alone demonstrative green bandannas or cries of “Allahu Akbar!”’ The simplistic division between well-behaved, silent Muslims on the one hand and raging Wahhabite extremists on the other is paralleled by a division of Chechens into a peace-loving, pro-Moscow camp and rabid, extremist (and, naturally, far too vocally Islamic) nationalists: at one point, Politkovskaya refers to ‘the “liberated” northern areas of Chechnya, a region opposed to Maskhadov, Dudayev, Basayev and all of their kind.’ The mere attempt to lump these men into a single category indicates a shameless ignorance of the politics of Chechnya between 1991 and the present—Dudayev representing the maximalist separatist tendency and Maskhadov the pragmatic approach quite visibly preferred by Moscow; hence the failure of negotiation in 1994, when Dudayev was in charge, and its success in 1996, when the Russians, having assassinated Dudayev, were much relieved that Maskhadov had taken over. Politkovskaya reserves a special tone of condemnation for Shamil Basayev, who has been Russia’s demon of choice since June 1995, when he and a busload of heavily armed fighters bribed their way several hundred miles into Russia, before reportedly simply running out of money in Budennovsk. They seized a hospital, took 1000 hostages, and demanded the start of peace negotiations—which began only after a bungled attempt by Russian special forces to storm the building, in which over a hundred hostages were killed. Basayev then finished second in Chechnya’s presidential elections of 1997, and was appointed Maskhadov’s Prime Minister before leaving the government, disappointed by the lack of official backing for his plans to unify Chechnya and Daghestan—and thus, he thought, remedy the former’s isolation. It was Basayev, together with the Wahhabite leader Khattab, who led a band of men into Daghestan in August 1999. A month later, Politkovskaya went to Daghestan and encountered the incomprehension and anger of refugees from the fighting, to whom she refers as ‘mountain women’. Two passages are worth quoting, both for their patronizing ethnographic tone and for their more troubling implications: They are, as you see, very simple people. Some might even call them primitive. However, they can see to the very heart of the matter, while we remain blinkered and confused by our complexes and sophistication. These women speak with a decisiveness and clarity that we have long forgotten: ‘Basayev is a bloodthirsty bandit and traitor and he has no place among normal people.’ Their questions and answers expose Russia’s ill-defined policies in the North Caucasus. Our own answers hint at some involved game we are playing, and it is never clear to whose advantage: ‘Things aren’t that simple,’ we say. ‘It makes sense to negotiate with Basayev . . . They simply cannot understand that Russian men are going to say nothing to Siberian mothers to explain how they are dealing with Shamil Basayev. They’ll keep quiet as usual. Yet again they’ll do nothing about Basayev and swallow this disgrace. Then they’ll shield themselves behind clever words: discussion of the status of Chechnya has been ‘postponed’, we must not increase tension by arresting Basayev. Madness. The women are right. As long as our men behave in this way, their war will never end. Within a few short weeks Putin began a war that supplied answers to all of Politkovskaya’s prayers: a ‘decisiveness’, shorn of ‘complexes and sophistication’, an end to ‘ill-defined policies in the North Caucasus’, to ‘doing nothing about Basayev’, an end to ‘swallowing disgrace’. It is also, incidentally, quite extraordinary that a book which begins with an exhortation to Russia’s men to do their masculine, militaristic duty should then be lauded (on its back cover) for ‘excoriating male stupidity’, when the war Politkovskaya seems so urgently to be requesting eventually arrived. Indeed, there are many more passages which point to this contradictory stance: for example, condemnation of Putin’s use of force, paired with blanket categorization of Chechnya’s democratically elected leaders as ‘bandits’. (If they’re simply bandits, why not use force?) At one point Politkovskaya suggests Russia’s leaders should try ‘either focusing the war within clear lines or a local arena, or else halting it altogether’—when Chechnya’s borders have, with terrifying logic, been sealed precisely so as to do this. She notes that ‘the present “struggle with the terrorists” is spreading across the entire country and is becoming a deadly danger to many who have not the slightest connection with the terrorists.’ But the logic of the entire operation has been precisely to forge this link, to turn all Chechens into terrorists so as to give a mask of legality to a war designed to crush their aspirations to independence. Putin’s subterfuge seems to have escaped a great many people in Russia today, Politkovskaya included. This blindness to the national aspect underlies most of the weaknesses of her account. For example, Politkovskaya seems to see Kadyrov’s puppet regime as simply another instance of corrupt and ineffective rule—which of course it is—but it is also more than that: a regime imposed by Moscow, under force of arms, against the democratically expressed wishes of Chechnya’s populace. The smallest sign of Politkovskaya’s disorientation is that, in the tenth year of Chechnya’s struggle for independence, she announces in shock—as if it were merely a symptom of how bad the situation has become—that ‘Chechnya is not a part of the same country.’ Politkovskaya’s book is, in more senses than one, a diagnosis of Russia’s ills: the horrifying parade of scars and suffering, the incompetence and brutality to which she testifies are not rapidly forgotten, and deserve far more attention than they are given. A Dirty War lays no claims to authoritative analysis—it is, after all, a book of reportage, of testimony rather than critical insight—but even so it is deeply flawed, and symptomatic of a broader malaise. If one of Putin’s harshest and most principled critics turns all Chechen politicians into bandits or raving Wahhabites, ignores the fundamental historical fact of colonization, objects to the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ only because of its geographical imprecision—in short, replicating much of the logic driving the current war—then there can be little hope of a cogent and well-informed resistance to it. Worse still is the Western reaction to the Chechen war: as in NATO’s assault on Serbia, thousands of human lives are held to be of secondary importance to the maintenance of liberal values. In the revealing words of the translator, John Crowfoot, ‘the suspension of the constitution in that small republic puts democracy and free speech throughout Russia at risk. And that is a danger that no one can ignore.’ The reduction of a city of 400,000 to post-apocalyptic rubble, the immiseration and reduction to abject servitude of an entire nation, and the massacre of countless innocents at Novye Aldy, Samashki, Alkhan-Yurt: all this can safely be ignored, so as not to interrupt the charade of lies, theft and corruption the world’s leaders have been pleased to call democracy in Russia. Politkovskaya’s freedom to speak a tainted truth is meagre compensation for lives lost and ruined. Anna Politkovskaya Special correspondent for the Russian twice-weekly newspaper Novaya Gazeta, published in Moscow. She received her Diploma in Journalism from Moscow State University in 1980, and has since worked on a number of newspapers as a correspondent and editor. She has a particular interest in Chechnya, and has written extensively on the subject, including the book A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya (Harvill, 2001). She acted as a mediator in the Nord-Ost theatre siege in Moscow in 2002, and has been the recipient of numerous international honours, including: * First Prize of the Lettre Ulysses Award (2003) * Hermann-Kesten Medal, PEN Germany (2003) * Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation (2002) * Most Courageous Defence of Free Expression from Index on Censorship (2002) * Special Award of Amnesty International (2001) New York, November 13, 2001—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today released an exclusive interview with exiled Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent with the Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta who is known for her investigative reports on human rights abuses committed by the Russian military in Chechnya.
Politkovskaya fled Russia to Vienna in early October after she received death threats related to her reporting in Chechnya. "What torments me more than anything," Politkovskaya says in the interview, "is the thought that those people who wanted me to stop my work have succeeded."
Europe program consultant Emma Gray met with Politkovskaya in Vienna on October 26 to discuss the recent threats she has faced, her coverage of the conflict in Chechnya, and the current state of journalism in Russia
Anna Politkovskaya: "Nobody is interested in the matter of what is going on in the country" On April 28th, 2003 in issue #30 of "The Novaya Gazeta" the article "Who Remains Alive" by Anna Politkovskaya was published. It says that the Theater Center hijacking committed by terrorists must have been at least controlled by the secret service of Russia. Anna Politkovskaya managed to meet Khanpash Terkibaev who claimed to have been a member of the terrorist group. He also claimed to have followed orders of some special service. In April 2003 Terkibaev was a member of the Russian delegation at the European Council as a "representative of the Chechen public". At present Terkibaev is a special correspondent of "The Russian newspaper". Terkibaev's name was in the list of the members of Baraev's group that had been published by "The Izvestia" not long before the Theater Center assault held by the special police forces. According to Anna Politkovskaya, "The Novaya Gazeta" has got some other evidence that Terkibaev was among terrorists. Terkibaev also claims to be working in the Information Office of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. In our opinion, the facts tackled in this publication are of the enormous public significance. Has there been any reaction to the investigation carried by "The Novaya Gazeta" from the authorities, society and their colleagues? The author of this sensational article Anna Politkovskaya, an observer of "The Novaya Gazeta" answers the questions of the editor-in-chief of the Informational Center of the Society for the Russian-Chechen Friendship Stanislav Dmitrievsky. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Quite a lot of time has come since your first publication about Terkibaev. Do you know anything about any reaction of the authorities to your article? Is there any reaction from the Procurator Office, the administration of the President or the State Duma? Anna Politkovskaya: Nothing at all. I have not even been asked any questions. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: You mean to say that you have not been asked to come anywhere, that there have not been any official interrogations or at least contacts with law-enforcement structures. Anna Politkovskaya: Absolutely no official respond. It made us publish our second article in which we reminded that there is the General Procurator Office in the country and we not only asked the same questions but also put some more. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: I regard your article sensational. I personally think that in any country with the stable democracy such an article and its impact are sure to cause the governmental crisis, at least. Nevertheless, there is no reaction not only from official structures but also from other sources of mass media. There are too few responds and the majority of them are absolutely passive and spiritless. You are either contradicted at a very low level of "you are a fool yourself", "it was made up by Berezovsky" or just mentioned as if your article had tackled upon a trifle matter. There is neither any serious discussion, nor, moreover, any social resonance. What do you think about the reasons for such an attitude both by the mass media and by the society? Anna Politkovskaya: You know, to be frank, we expected a different reaction. And we supposed - we didn't want it but we supposed that the reaction would be serious. So it is very difficult for me to comment on the fact that there is no reaction at all. It means that it's of no interest to anybody. I mean to say that nobody is interested in the matter of what is going on in the country. What is interesting is the PR: some people are for the president, some others are against him…But the facts and the matter of what is going on in the country are of no concern to anybody. I personally can't comprehend all that. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Apparently, it's a problem not only of the mass media but of the whole Russian society. Anna Politkovskaya: Certainly. Mass media just reflect social interests, opinions and needs. You know, what shocked me most of all was the human rights activists' position. I am honest here. None of the human rights activists have made any attempt to put any questions in front of the official power. There was the only example - the appeal of the social movement "For Human Rights" headed by Lev Ponomaryov. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Yes, as far as I know, it was also signed by the manager of the museum and The Social Center named after A.D.Sakhsrov Yury Samodurov and the writer Alexander Tkachenko. Anna Politkovskaya: I haven't seen the final wording of this document but the variant they showed to me the next day after the publication made me feel indignation. As I expressed these feelings to the authors of the appeal openly I am telling you about it now. The matter was that social appeal was called "The authorities should refute…" From my point of view, it is awful of them. The authorities must investigate such cases. To investigate means to interrogate Terkibaev and me, at least, by members of that big investigating group that is working now to investigate "The Nord-Ost" events under the control of the General Prosecutor Office. I understand the "The authorities should refute…"-position of human rights leaders as a desire to be acceptable by the official power. I can only wish them much success on their way. I was promised, though, that my comments would be certainly taken into account. [Indeed, Anna Politkovskaya's comments must have been taken into account. In the final wording of the Public Appeal that was published the people who signed it demand investigating into the facts reported in the article and in case they are true - starting a criminal suite. There is no demand to refute in this document. - the editor.] Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Yesterday there appeared an article on Viktor Popkov site by Andrew Smirnov who doesn't agree to you and your supposition about "the controlled terrorist act". Anna Politkovskaya: Sorry to say, I haven't read this article yet. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Then it wouldn't be right to discuss this topic. It might be possible to comment on the main idea of this publication - the author accuses you of being subject to explain everything by making up schemes of conspiracy. As an example of one of such-like schemes common of the modern Russian mythology Andrew Smirnov tells about the theory of global plot between the two fighting sides. He also considers the supposition of the involvement of the Russian intelligence service into the terrorist act at Dubrovka to be one of these myths. How can you comment on it? Anna Politkovskaya: Nothing of the kind, I am not for any plot-theories. I can tell honestly - after "The Nord-Ost" a lot of western journalists and employees of foreign embassies used to come to our editorial office with the same question, "What do you think about the involvement of the Russian intelligence service into this terrorist act? Haven't you noticed anything suspicious?" Whenever I was asked this question, I answered that I refused to admit such possability. I couldn't believe it just because it would have become very difficult to go on living if I had let myself assume it. But later, somewhen from January, we began to get some bits of information. It evidenced that there had been some involvement all the same. I started checking it mainly to prove myself that the information wasn't true. This article came from attempts to persuade myself that it wasn't true. I personally think that the reality we are living in now is horrible. It is horrible that the intelligence service controls both the president and the whole system of power, that the intelligence service makes all the people jump as they wish. I started my article from the opposite thought: I wanted to make myself sure that the society was much stronger, that we were living in the democracy. And then… It took a long time to get all the information to write the article. And at last I told the editor that I could write the article. And at the same time my Chechen friends who are living in Moscow told me that they had seen that person - Terkibaev - in Moscow and if I wanted they would be able to get in touch with him. I told that I would certainly meet him. I thought such meeting would be very important. Besides, it was just interesting for me what kind of person was he and what was his life like. At first he refused but then accepted my offer to meet. It was his right. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: So if I've caught you right, you mean to say that you had the information concerning the fact that Terkibaev had really been among the terrorists in the Theater Center long before the interview with him, don't you? Anna Politkovskaya: Exactly. I could have written the article without meeting him. The next bit of the information will be revealed later as the authorities take some measures. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: I have some more questions connected with, so to say, technical points. First, don't you know where Khanpash terkibaev is now? Anna Politkovskaya: No information at all. He has disappeared somewhere but I was sure that it would be so. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Have any other representatives of mass media tried to find him? Anna Politkovskaya: Yes, they have. Many of them have tried but it was possible to get through to him only once. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: In your interview to the TVS channel that took place on April 28 you told that the members of special military unit who were assaulting the building couldn't have been aware of the "controlled terrorist act". But there appears one more question: the fact that Terkibaev could leave the building of the Theater Center means that he had accomplices among those representatives of the enforcement structures who were in the cordon. The plan of the Theater Center building that Terkibaev had couldn't guarantee that he would manage to leave the blocked building. Anna Politkovskaya: It was not so. The building wasn't blocked that hard. There was a possibility to escape. If we want to go deeper into that point, I can tell you that too many absolutely inexplicable stories happened there. I can give you some examples. Yes, there was a cordon. And it was rather difficult for me to get into the Theater Center as one special structure said "yes" whereas the other said "no", the Home Affairs Ministry allowed but representatives of the FSB didn't as they didn't have Patrushev's allowance. On having at last received the permission to go, I approach the last circle of the cordon and …see a woman. I ask her, "Who are you? What are you doing here?" And she tells me, "I am this and that". An absolutely incidental person. Then a strange man turned up from somewhere and joined me. I ask him, "And what are you?" The matter is that I was afraid to enter the area that wasn't observable together with him where it was easy to shoot me dead. He answers, "I am from the Red Cross". I inquire him, "Well, but do you have any documents to prove it?" The white armband with the red cross that he was wearing couldn't be regarded as a proof. And one more strange occasion happened inside the cordon where the terrorists were nearby, where it was supposed to be dangerous as the Alfa-men were lying there under the cars and when in spite of all that a woman threw herself at me. She tells me, "I am the wife of …tell Baraev this and that." I was completely astonished. I don't know whether she really was the person she gave herself out to be but the fact remains. She managed to get there. There were a lot of similar situations there: some people went inside the cordon, some other went out of it - none of them was known to the public. And if I witnessed what was going on at that time it means that somebody else could leave the building through some other exit, from the back one, for example. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: You mean to say that it was possible to pass the cordon, don't you? Anna Politkovskaya: Yes! I can say when it became impossible to go through it. It happened an hour and a half or two hours before the assault. But it hadn't been so before that time. That is why I am not suspicious of this very detail that Terkibaev had managed to leave the building before the assault. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: How can you explain that Terkibaev was let to survive? He could have been put away, at least, couldn't he? Anna Politkovskaya: I don't have the unequivocal answer to this question. I just think that he is a very convenient person for our authorities. He can contact both this and that sides, he can represent the Chechen public in the Russian delegation in Strasbourg, he can wriggle out of any situation. The world has known such people in all times. They just needed him. Actually he made a big mistake when he made an appointment with me. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Sure. Anna Politkovskaya: And I think that he has already been explained that. Stanislav Dmitrievsky: And the motif of the meeting? Vanity? Anna Politkovskaya: He is absolutely vain. But there is one more explanation that, I think, has some grounds. He might have had some problems. He might have dared to accept my offer to meet not to be killed. And now who would dare to commit it! Stanislav Dmitrievsky: Exactly, as there would be a scandal then for sure. Anna Politkovskaya: That's it. It would be absolutely clear why it was done.
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