Putin’s Victims: A Long List Getting longer

Boris Berezovsky, 2013. A self-styled tycoon who was a member of Yeltsin’s inner circle in the late 1990s, Berezovsky was instrumental in Putin’s rise to power (including a media campaign that smeared Boris Nemtsov, who was competing with Putin to succeed Yeltsin). But Berezovsky soon fell out with Putin, and left Russia for a comfortable self-exile in the United Kingdom. The distance from Russia emboldened him, and he declared that he would devote his and his considerable wealth to bring down Putin. He was also leading a campaign to investigate the November 2006 killing in London – by the radioactive substance polonium 2010 – of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who became a leading critic of Putin (in 2018, a British intelligence investigation established that two agents of the FSB – the KGB successor organization — killed Litvinenko by slipping the radioactive material into his tea while they met with him in a London hotel. In 2014 the two agents received medals from Putin for their service to Russia, and one of them is now leading member of Putin’s political party in the Duma, Russia’s parliament).  Berezovsky was found dead inside a locked bathroom at his home in London, a noose around his neck, in what was at first deemed a suicide. However, the coroner’s office could not determine the cause of death.

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, 2009. Markelov was a human rights lawyer who represented Chechen civilians in human rights cases again the Russian military. He also represented journalists who were harassed by the regime after writing articles critical of Putin, including Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in 2006. Markelov was shot by a masked gunman near the Kremlin. Baburova, also a journalist from Novaya Gazeta, was fatally shot as she tried to help him. Russian authorities said a neo-Nazi group was behind the killings, and two members of the group, who protested that they were framed by the FSB, were convicted of the deaths.

Sergei Magnitsky, 2009. Lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in police custody in November 2009 after being brutally beaten, then denied medical care. He had been working for British-American businessman William Browder to investigate a massive tax fraud case. Magnitsky was arrested after uncovering evidence suggesting that police officials were behind the fraud. In 2012, Magnitsky was posthumously convicted of tax evasion, and Browder lobbied the U.S. government to impose sanctions on those linked to his death. The sanctions bill bears his name and has since been applied to rights abusers in other cases. In June 2016, lawyers representing the Kremlin met in Trump Tower

Natalia Estemirova, 2009. Natalya Estemirova was a journalist who investigated abductions and murders that had become commonplace in Chechnya. As was the case with fellow journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Estemirova reported on civilians who often got caught between Chechen rebels and the Russian militaty. Estemirova was kidnapped outside her home, shot several times — including a point-blank shot in the head — and dumped in the nearby woods. Nobody has been convicted of her murder.

Anna Politkovskaya, 2006. Anna Politkovskaya was a Russian reporter for Novaya Gazeta whose book, Putin’s Russia, accused the Kremlin leader of turning the country into a police state. She was shot at point-blank range in an elevator in her building. Five men were convicted of her murder, but the judge found that it was a contract killing, with $150,000 of the fee paid by a person whose identity was never discovered. Putin denied any Kremlin involvement in Politkovskaya’s killing, saying that her “death in itself is more damaging to the current authorities both in Russia and the Chechen Republic … than her activities.”

Alexander Litvinenko, 2006. “Alexander Litvinenko was a former KGB agent who died three weeks after drinking a cup of tea” laced with deadly polonium-210 at a London hotel, as Business Insider wrote a year ago. “A British inquiry found that Litvinenko was poisoned by Russian agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who were acting on orders that had ‘probably been approved’” by Putin. Russia refused to extradite them, and in 2015 the Russian president granted Lugovoi a medal for “services to the motherland.” After leaving the Russian Federal Security Service, Litvinenko became a vocal critic of the agency, which was run by Putin, and later blamed the security service for orchestrating a series of apartment bombings in Russia in 1999 that left hundreds dead. Litvinenko also accused Putin ordering the murder of Politkovskaya.

Sergei Yushenkov, 2003. A former army colonel Yushenkov had just registered his Liberal Russia movement as a political party when he was gunned down outside his home in Moscow. Yushenkov was gathering evidence he believed proved that the Putin government was behind one of the apartment bombings in 1999.

Yuri Shchekochikhin, 2003. As a journalist and author who wrote about crime and corruption in the former Soviet Union when it was still difficult to do so. He was investigating the 1999 apartment bombings for Novaya Gazeta when he contracted a mysterious illness in July 2003. He died suddenly, a few days before he was supposed to depart for the United States. His medical documents were deemed classified by Russian authorities.

Vitaly Churkin, 64, Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN, died in February 2017 in New York after suddenly becoming ill on his way to work the day before his 65th birthday. It was reported he had suffered a heart attack, but an autopsy proved inconclusive.

Andrei Malanin, 55, the Russian consul in Athens, was found dead in January 2017 on the floor of his apartment in Greece. Greek police said there was no evidence of a break-in and he was believed to have died of natural causes.

Alexander Kadakin, 67, Russia’s ambassador to India, was reported to have died of heart failure in January 2017 after a “brief illness.”

Sergei Krivov, 63, a senior Russian diplomat, was found on 8 November 2016, U.S. Election Day, unconscious on the grounds outside his office at the Russian consulate in New York. He suffered severe – and unexplained — head injuries. Russian sources initially said he had fallen to his death following a heart attack, but a report from medical examiners was inconclusive.

Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed on 19 December 2016 in Ankara by a policeman at a photography exhibition.

Peter Polshikov, a senior officials at the Russian foreign ministry, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment on the same day (19 December 2016).

Oleg Erovinkin, the former chief of the KGB, who is said to have provided former British MI6 operative Christopher Steele with material for a dossier on Donald Trump, was found dead in the back of his car on 26 December 2016. Russian officials claimed he had died of a heart attack.

II. Journalists Killed during Putin’s Reign (2000-2018)
Donald Trump may not know it, but describing journalists and the free press as “enemy of the people” has a long and ugly history. Its most prominent use was in the Soviet Union, where Lenin, and even more so Stalin, used it to describe those who dared to question the Communist Party. The term was adopted by Joseph Goebbels, who would become Hitler’s propaganda minister. Beginning in the mid-1920s, he often described the liberal media critical of the Nazi movement as “Volksfeind” (“Enemy of the People”) and “Lügenpresse” (the “Lying Press”)

Nikita Khrushchev came to power in 1954, a year after Stalin’s death in March 1953. On 25 February 1956, in a long speech behind closed door at the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Khrushchev made a historic break with Stalinism and its accompanying terror and mass killing. He denounced Stalin’s “cult of personality” in the harshest of terms, and accused Stalin of the unjustified killing of tens of millions, including the intentional starvation of millions of peasants and farmers in Khrushchev’s native Ukraine in the 1930s (in which, truth be told, Khrushchev was complicit).

Khrushchev, a loyal member of Stalin’s inner circle in the 1930s and 1940s, but who liberalized Russia’s political and cultural climate from 1954 until he himself was replaced in 1964, famously said in that speech: “The formula ‘enemy of the people’ was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals.”

From that point on, the term “enemy of the people” was no longer used by political leaders in the Soviet Union or Russia – until Putin came to power, that is.

As the list below shows, it is dangerous to be a free-thinking journalist in Putin’s Russia. The list contains the names, date of death, and circumstances of death of 122 Russian journalists who were killed between 2000 and 2018, while Vladimir Putin was president of Russia (2000-2008, 2012-present), and prime minister of Russia (2008-2012).

Every single journalist on the list below criticized Putin, his regime, or regional politicians appointed by Putin – in newspaper articles, investigative reporting, op-ed pieces, or TV shows. Most of the criticism involved corruption and violations of human rights (the latter category includes a surprisingly high number of journalists who criticized the way Russia was conducting the war against the Chechen rebels).

Note the following:

The list is based on compilations by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and UNESCO. It contains only journalists whose killing was clearly politically motivated.

It does not include the much larger group of journalists who were injured in violent attacks, fired from their jobs on Putin’s orders, imprisoned on trumped-up charges, or otherwise intimidated and silenced.

A large number of journalists were killed by members of criminal gangs who were subcontracted by the FSB, Russia’s domestic security service. In some cases, the killer was brought to trial and spend a short time in jail before being released.


·  10 February – Ludmila Zamana, Samara. Homicide. Conviction.

·  9 March – Artyom Borovik, Sovershenno sekretno periodical and publishing house, director and journalist. Sheremetyevo-1 Airport, Moscow. Incident not confirmed.

·  17 April – Oleg Polukeyev, Homicide.

·  1 May – Boris Gashev, literary critic. Homicide. Conviction.

·  16 July – Igor Domnikov, from Novaya GazetaMoscow. Struck over the head with a hammer in the stairwell of his Moscow apartment building, Domnikov was in a coma for two months. His murderer was identified in 2003 and convicted in 2007. The men who ordered and organized the attack have been named by his paper but not charged. Homicide.

·  26 July – Sergei Novikov, Radio Vesna, Smolensk. Shot in a contract killing in stairwell of his apartment building. Claimed that he often criticized the administration of Smolensk Region. Homicide.

·  21 September – Iskander Khatloni, Radio Free EuropeMoscow. A native of Tajikistan, Khatloni was killed at night in an axe attack on the street outside his Moscow apartment block. His assailant and the motive of the murder remain unknown. A RFE/RL spokeswoman said Khatloni worked on stories about the human-rights abuses in Chechnya. Homicide.

·  3 October – Sergei Ivanov, Lada-TVTogliatti. Shot five times in the head and chest in front of his apartment building. As director of largest independent television company in Togliatti, he was an important player on the local political scene. Homicide.

·  18 October – Georgy Garibyan, journalist with Park TV (Rostov), murdered in Rostov-on-Don.

·  20 October – Oleg Goryansky, freelance journalist, press & TV. Murdered in Cherepovets, Vologda Region. Conviction.

·  21 October – Raif Ablyashev, photographer with Iskra newspaper. Kungur, Perm Region. Homicide.

·  3 November – Sergei Loginov, Lada TV (Togliatti). Incident not confirmed.

·  20 November – Pavel Asaulchenko, cameraman for Austrian TV, Moscow. Contract killing. Conviction of perpetrator.

·  23 November – Adam Tepsurkayev, ReutersChechnya. A Chechen cameraman, he was shot at his neighbour’s house in the village of Alkhan-Kala (aka Yermolovka). Tepsurkayev filmed most of Reuters’ footage from Chechnya in 2000, including the Chechen rebel Shamil Basayev having his foot amputated. Homicide (war crime).

·  28 November – Nikolai Karmanov, retired journalist. Lyubim, Yaroslavl Region. Homicide.

·  23 December – Valery Kondakov, freelance photographer. Killed in Armavir, Krasnodar Region.


·  1 February – Eduard Burmagin, Homicide.

·  24 February – Leonid Grigoryev, Homicide.

·  8 March – Andrei Pivovarov, Homicide.

·  31 March – Oleg Dolgantsev, Homicide.

·  17 May – Vladimir Kirsanov, chief editor. Kurgan, Urals Federal District. Homicide.

·  11 September – Andrei Sheiko, Homicide.

·  19 September – Eduard Markevich, 29, editor and publisher of local newspaper Novy Reft in Sverdlovsk Region. Shot in the back in a contract killing, homicide.

·  5 November – Elina Voronova, Homicide.

·  16 November – Oleg Vedenin, Homicide.

·  21 November – Alexander Babaikin, Homicide.

·  1 December – Boris Mityurev, Homicide.


·  18 January – Svetlana Makarenko, Homicide.

·  4 March – Konstantin Pogodin, Novoye Delo newspaper, Nizhni Novgorod. Homicide.

·  8 March – Natalya Skryl, Nashe Vremya newspaper, Taganrog. Homicide.

·  31 March – Valery Batuyev, Moscow News newspaper, Moscow. Homicide.

·  1 April – Sergei Kalinovsky, Moskovskij Komsomolets local edition, Smolensk. Homicide.

·  4 April – Vitaly Sakhn-Vald, photojournalistKursk. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 April – Leonid Shevchenko, Pervoye Chtenie newspaper, Volgograd. Homicide.

·  29 April – Valery Ivanov, founder and chief editor of Tolyattinskoye Obozrenie newspaper, Samara Region. Contract killing.

·  20 May – Alexander Plotnikov, Gostiny Dvor newspaper, Tyumen. Homicide.

·  6 June – Pavel Morozov, Homicide.

·  25 June – Oleg Sedinko, founder of Novaya Volna TV & Radio Company, Vladivostok. Contract killing, explosive in stairwell.

·  20 July – Nikolai Razmolodin, general director of Europroject TV & Radio Company, Ulyanovsk. Homicide.

·  21 July – Maria Lisichkina Homicide.

·  27 July – Sergei Zhabin, press service of the Moscow Region governor. Homicide.

·  18 August – Nikolai Vasiliev, Cheboksary city, Chuvashia. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 August – Paavo Voutilainen, former chief editor of Karelia magazine, Karelia. Homicide.

·  20 September – Igor Salikov, head of information security at Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper in Penza. Contract killing.

·  2 October – Yelena Popova, Homicide. Conviction.

·  19 October – Leonid Plotnikov Homicide. Conviction.

·  21 December – Dmitry Shalayev, Kazan, Tatarstan. Homicide. Conviction.


·  7 January – Vladimir Sukhomlin, Internet journalist and editor, Serbia.ru, Moscow. Homicide. Off-duty police convicted of his murder. Those behind the contract killing were not convicted.

·  11 January – Yury Tishkov, sports commentator, Moscow. Contract killing.

·  21 February – Sergei Verbitsky, publisher BNV newspaper. Chita. Homicide.

·  18 April – Dmitry Shvets, TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting, Murmansk. Deputy director of the independent TV-21 station (Northwestern Broadcasting), he was shot dead outside the TV offices. Shvets’ colleagues said the station had received multiple threats for its reporting on influential local politicians. Contract killing.

·  3 July – Yury ShchekochikhinNovaya gazetaMoscow. Deputy editor of Novaya gazeta and a Duma deputy since 1993. He died just a few days before his scheduled trip to United States to discuss the results of his journalist investigation with FBI officials. He investigated the Three Whales Corruption Scandal that allegedly involved high-ranking FSB officials. Shchekochikhin died from an acute allergic reaction. There has been much speculation about cause of his death. The investigation into his death has been opened and closed four times. Homicide.

·  4 July – Ali Astamirov, France Presse. Went missing in Nazran.

·  18 July – Alikhan Guliyev, freelance TV journalist, from Ingushetia. Moscow. Homicide.

·  10 August – Martin Kraus, Dagestan. On way to Chechnya. Homicide.

·  9 October – Alexei SidorovTolyatinskoye ObozreniyeTogliatti. Second editor-in-chief of this local newspaper to be murdered. Predecessor Valery Ivanov shot in April 2002.[87] Homicide. Supposed killer acquitted.

·  24 October – Alexei Bakhtin, journalist and businessman, formerly Mariiskaya pravda. Homicide.

·  30 October – Yury Bugrov, editor of Provincial Telegraph. Balakovo, Saratov Region. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 December – Pyotr Babenko, editor of Liskinskaya gazeta. Liski, Voronezh Region. Homicide.


·  1 February – Yefim Sukhanov, ATK-Media, Archangelsk. Homicide. Conviction.

·  2 May – Shangysh Mongush, correspondent with Khemchiktin Syldyzy newspaper. Homicide.

·  9 June – Paul Klebnikov, chief editor of newly established Russian version of Forbes magazine, Moscow. Contract killing, alleged perpetrators put on trial and acquitted. Homicide.

·  1 July – Maxim Maximov, journalist with Gorod newspaper, St Petersburg. Body not found. Homicide.

·  10 July – Zoya Ivanova, TV presenter, Buryatia State Television & Radio Company, Ulan Ude, Buryatia. Homicide.

·  17 July – Pail Peloyan, editor of Armyansky Pereulok magazine. Homicide.

·  3 August – Vladimir Naumov, nationalist reporter, Cossack author (Russky VestnikZavtra), Moscow Region. Homicide.

·  24 August – Svetlana Shishkina, journalist, Kazan, Tatarstan. Homicide. Conviction.

·  18 September – Vladimir Pritchin, editor-in-chief of North Baikal TV & Radio Company, Buryatia. Homicide.

·  27 September – Jan Travinsky (St Petersburg), in Irkutsk as political activist for election campaign. Homicide. Conviction.


·  31 August – Alexander Pitersky, Baltika Radio reporter, Saint Petersburg. Homicide.

·  4 November – Kira Lezhneva, reporter with Kamensky rabochii newspaper, Sverdlovsk Region. Homicide. Conviction.


·  8 January – Vagif Kochetkov, newly appointed Trud correspondent in the region, killed and robbed in Tula. Acquittal.

·  26 February – Ilya Zimin, worked for NTV Russia television channel, killed in Moscow flat. Suspect in Moldova trial. Acquittal.

·  4 May – Oksana Teslo, media worker, Moscow Region. Arson attack on dacha. Homicide.

·  14 May – Oleg Barabyshkin, director of radio station, Chelyabinsk. Homicide. Conviction.

·  23 May – Vyacheslav Akatov, special reporter, Business Moscow TV show, murdered in Mytyshchi Moscow Region. Killer caught and convicted. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 June – Anton Kretenchuk, cameraman, local Channel 38 TV, killed in Rostov-on-Don. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 July – Yevgeny Gerasimenko, journalist with Saratovsky Rasklad newspaper. Murdered in Saratov. Conviction.

·  31 July – Anatoly Kozulin, retired freelance journalist. Ukhta, Komi. Homicide.

·  8 August – Alexander Petrov, editor-in-chief, Right to Choose magazine Omsk, murdered with family while on holiday in Altai Republic. Under-age murderer charged and prosecuted. Homicide. Conviction.

·  7 October – Anna Politkovskaya, commentator with Novaya GazetaMoscow, shot in her apartment building’s elevator; Four accused in contract killing, acquitted in February 2009.

·  16 October – Anatoly Voronin, Itar-TASS news agency, Moscow. Homicide.

·  28 December – Vadim Kuznetsov, editor-in-chief of World & Home. Saint Petersburg magazine, killed in Saint Petersburg. Homicide.


·  14 January – Yury Shebalkin, retired journalist, formerly with Kaliningradskaya pravda. Homicide in Kaliningrad. Conviction.

·  20 January – Konstantin Borovko, presenter of “Gubernia” TV company (Russian: ”Губерния”), killed in Khabarovsk. Homicide. Conviction.

·  2 March – Ivan Safronov, military columnist of Kommersant newspaper. Died in Moscow, cause of death disputed. Incident not Confirmed. Investigation under Incitement to Suicide (Article 110).

·  15 March – Leonid Etkind, director at Karyera newspaper. Abduction and homicide in Vodnik, Saratov Region. Conviction.

·  April – Marina Pisareva, deputy head of Russian office of German media group Bertelsmann was found dead at her country cottage outside Moscow in April.

2008: Final Months of Putin as President*

* Putin, who was elected president in 2000, could not run for a third consecutive term in 2008 (the term-limit law has been changed in a referendum two months ago, allowing Putin to remain in power until 2036). Putin switched places with his prime minister, Dimitry Medvedev, and from 2008 to 2012 Medvedev was a figure-head president while Putin continued to run Russia as the prime minister. Putin returned to the presidency in 2012.)

·  8 February – Yelena Shestakova, former journalist, St Petersburg. Killer sent to psychiatric prison. Homicide.

·  21 March – Gadji Abashilov, chief of Dagestan State TV & Radio Company VGTRK, shot in his car in Makhachkala. Homicide.

·  21 March – Ilyas Shurpayev, Dagestani journalist covering Caucasus on Channel One, was strangled with a belt by robbers in Moscow. Alleged killers tracked to Tajikistan and convicted there of his murder. Homicide.

·  13 November – Mikhail Beketov Beketov suffered brain damage and lost a leg after a brutal assault in 2008 following his reporting and campaign against a highway project in Moscow. He died five years later. Beketov wrote about corruption in Khimki, a town near the $8 billion highway. The founder and editor of a local newspaper, Beketov was among the first to raise the alarm about the destruction of the local forest and suspicions local officials were profiting from the project. In November 2008, Beketov was beaten so viciously that he was left unable to speak. He was in a coma for several months and spent more than two years in hospitals. His attackers were never found.

The Medvedev Presidency (Putin as Prime Minister)


·  31 August – Magomed Yevloyev was shot dead while in police custody in Ingushetia. Yevloyev was the founder of the opposition website Ingushetia.org and was known for his regular criticism of Ingush President Murat Zyazikov. The police officer involved in the killing, Ibragim Yevloyev, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

·  30 December – Shafig Amrakhov was shot and wounded by an unknown assailant at his apartment in Murmansk and later died in hospital. Amrakhov was the editor of the RIA 51 news agency and criticized the economic policies of Yuri Yevdokimov, the governor of Murmansk Oblast.


·  4 January – Vladislav Zakharchuk died in a fire that engulfed a newspaper office in VladivostokPrimorsky Krai. Zakharchuk was the advertisement manager for the newspaper Arsenyevskie Vesti. The newspaper was known for its criticism of the authorities in the krai and its chief editor and journalists have faced fines and imprisonment in the past.

·  19 January – Stanislav Markelov was shot and killed by a masked gunman in Moscow alongside Anastasia Baburova. Markelov was a lawyer who worked with Novaya Gazeta and brought many cases against the Russian military, Chechen warlords, and neo-Nazi groups.

·  19 January – Anastasia Baburova died alongside Stanislav Marekelov after being shot at in Moscow. Baburova was a journalist-in-training for Novaya Gazeta and was known for investigating neo-Nazi activity in Russia.

·  30 March – Sergei Protazanov was found unconscious at his home in KhimkiMoscow Oblast, and later died in hospital. Authorities and relatives believed he was poisoned. Protazanov was the page designer for Grazhdanskoye Soglasiye, the only opposition newspaper in the city, and was seriously beaten by assailants a few days prior to his death.

·  29 June – Vyacheslav Yaroshenko died of wounds he received from a severe beating by an unknown assailant in April in Rostov-on-DonRostov Oblast. Yaroshenko was the chief editor of the Korruptsiya i Prestupnost newspaper and prior to his beating, the newspaper published multiple articles alleging corruption in the Oblast’s government, police, and prosecutor’s office.

·  15 July – Natalia Estemirova was abducted and then killed in Grozny, Chechnya. Her body was later found near Nazran, Ingushetia. Estemirova was a human rights activist for Memorial who worked with journalists of Novaya Gazeta and occasionally published in the newspaper herself. She was known for investigating murders and kidnappings in Chechnya and was a colleague of Anna Politkovskaya.

·  11 August – Malik Akhmedilov was found shot dead near Makhachkala, Dagestan. Akhemdilov was the deputy chief editor of Khakikat and the chief editor of the Sogratl newspapers, which focused on civic and political issues in the republic.

·  25 October – Maksharip Aushev was shot dead in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria. Aushev worked on multiple human rights cases in neighboring Ingushetia and was the operator of Ingushetia.org following the death of Magomed Yevloyev in 2008.

·  16 November – Olga Kotovskaya died after falling out of a window on the 14th-floor of a building in Kaliningrad. Authorities classified the death as suicide while colleagues believe she was murdered for her work. Kotovskaya was the co-founder of the Kaskad radio and television station, which was embroiled in an ownership lawsuit brought by Vladimir Pirogov, the former vice governor of Kaliningrad Oblast.


·  20 January – Konstantin Popov died from a beating received by Russian police while in custody in Tomsk. Popov was the co-founder and director of the Tema newspaper and was allegedly tortured prior to his death.

·  23 February – Ivan Stepanov was stabbed to death at his dacha in KhilokZabaykalsky Krai. Stepanov was a local correspondent for the Zabaikalsky rabochy newspaper and the author of three books that were popular in his district.

·  20 March – Maxim Zuyev went missing and was later found murdered in a flat he was renting in Kaliningrad. Zuyev was a reporter for multiple newspapers in Kaliningrad Oblast and was a moderator for the Koenigsberg journalist society.

·  25 July – Bella Ksalova was fatally injured and later died in hospital after being hit by a vehicle near her home in CherkesskKarachay-Cherkessia. Ksalova was a correspondent for the Caucasian Knot website and news agency and wrote highly critical articles of local authorities. The driver, Arsen Abaikhanov, plead guilty and was sentenced three years in a penal colony.

·  1 August – Malika Betiyeva was killed along with four members of her family when a speeding vehicle hit hers on a highway in Chechnya. Betiyeva was the deputy chief editor of the Molodyozhnaya smena newspaper and a correspondent for Dosh magazine. She was known for writing about lawless behavior of government agencies in Chechnya and her worked had to be published under an assumed name for her own safety.

·  6 November — Intrepid reporter Oleg Kashin was viciously beaten by two unidentified attackers outside his home in November 2010 and narrowly escaped death. He spent days in an induced coma with a fractured skull, and had one finger partially amputated. He survived and eventually recovered. Kashin has written on a wide range of social and political issues, some politically sensitive. Shortly after the attack, Kashin said he suspected then-Pskov governor Andrei Turchak to be behind the attempt on his life as a reaction to a critical post he wrote about him on his blog. Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medevdev at the time pledged to solve the attack. Kashin was originally full of praise for the investigators who appeared to be trying to find his attackers, but the probe stalled shortly afterward. Frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation, Kashin conducted his own probe into the attack and several years later publicly accused Turchak of placing an order to cripple or kill him. Turchak has never been questioned, and has denied the accusations. He currently holds a senior post in the ruling pro-Kremlin party.


·  15 December – Gadzhimurat Kamalov was shot six times in a drive-by shooting outside his newspaper’s office in Makhachkala, Dagestan. Kamalov owned the media company Svoboda Slova and was known for investigating corruption and rebel activity in the republic.

Putin Returns to the Presidency


·  5 December – Kazbek Gekkiev was shot dead at a street in NalchikKabardino-Balkaria, after receiving death threats from local extremists. Gekkiev worked for various local TV programs in the republic.


·  9 July – Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was killed while driving just 50 metres from his house on the outskirts of Makhachkala, Dagestan, after receiving numerous death threats. Akhmednabiyev was the deputy editor of the newspaper Novoe Delo and regularly wrote about the politics of the republic and human rights issues in the North Caucasus. He was previously the victim of an assassination attempt back in January 2013.


·  1 August – Timur Kuashev was abducted from his home and later found dead in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria. Kuashev worked for the magazine Dosh and received death threats and was previously stopped by local police a number of times.


·  17 March – Yevgeny Khamaganov died of unexplained causes in Ulan-UdeBuryatia. Khamaganov was known for writing articles that criticized the federal government and was allegedly beaten by unknown assailants on 10 March.

·  19 April – Journalist and former prisoner of conscience Nikolay Andrushchenko died in Saint Petersburg from wounds that he received from a severe beating by unknown assailants on 9 March. Andrushchenko was the co-founder of the newspaper Novy Petersburg and was previously jailed in 2009 by a city court for “libel and extremism”.

·  24 May – Dmitry Popkov was found dead from gunshot wounds at a bathhouse close to his home in MinusinskKrasnoyarsk Krai. Popkov was the chief editor of the newspaper Ton-M and was known for investigating police corruption.


·  15 April – Maksim Borodin died of injuries from falling out of a window at his apartment in YekaterinburgSverdlovsk Oblast, on 12 April. Authorities classified the death as suicide while colleagues reject the notion. Borodin regularly wrote on crime, corruption, and the recent involvement of Russian mercenaries in Syria.

·  23 July – Denis Suvorov was found dead after being stabbed by an unknown assailant in Nizhny Novgorod. Suvorov worked for the Vesti-Privolzhye television station and was an editor for the Vesti.Nizhny Novgorod internet portal.

·  31 July – Sergei Grachyov went missing in Nizhny Novgorod on 21 July after taking a reporting trip there from Moscow. His body was found 11 days later. Grachuov worked for the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.

·  10 September – Yegor Orlov disappeared on 7 September after leaving for work in Naberezhnye ChelnyTatarstan. His body was later found in a river in the Yelabuzhsky District. Orlov was a correspondent and presenter at Chelny REN-TV.