Putin’s Victims: A Long List Getting Longer

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

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.

Sergei Yushenkov, 53, was a Russian politician who was attempting to prove the Russian state was behind the bombing of an apartment block. He was killed in 2003 in an assassination by a single shot to the chest just hours after his political organization, Liberal Russia, had been recognized by the Justice Ministry as a political party.

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.

Sergei Tkachenko, co-founder of the Soho Rooms nightclub who would die mysteriously five years later), was found dead in January 2017. His body was found on a building awning “with injuries typical of a fall from a great height.”

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.

Alexander Kagansky, a top Russian scientist developing a novel COVID-19 vaccine, was found dead on 19 December 2020 after falling from his high-rise apartment in St Petersburg.

Pavel Antov. In December 2022, the Russian tycoon reportedly fell from a hotel window in Rayagada, India, on December 25 days after his 65th birthday. The politician and millionaire had criticized Putin’s war with Ukraine on WhatsApp following a missile attack in Kyiv

Ravil Maganov, Lukoil chairman, had been openly critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Maganov, 67, died by falling out the window of a Moscow hospital in September 2022.

Dan Rapoport, a businessman who publicly condemned the Russia-Ukraine war on social media, was discovered dead in front of an apartment building in Washington, D.C, in August 2022.

Mikhail Lesin, Russian press minister who founded the English-language television network Russia Today (RT), was found dead of “blunt force trauma to the head” in a Washington, DC, hotel room in November 2015. He was considering making a deal with the FBI to protect himself from corruption charges in Russia.

Ivan Pechorin, 49, a top manager at the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, was found dead on 12 September 2022 in Vladivostok after allegedly falling off his luxury yacht and drowning near Cape Ignatyev in the Sea of Japan two days before.

Igor Nosov, 43, who, in May 2021, became the CEO of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East, also died in September 2022 — from a reported stroke.

Anatoly Gerashchenko, 73, an aviation expert and the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, was pronounced dead after falling down “several sets of stairs” on 21 September 2022.

Nikolai Glushkov, 69, former deputy director of the Russian national air carrier Aeroflot, was found hanged in his home in New Malden, London, on 12 March 2018. Glushkov was a notable Kremlin critic and a close friend of the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was also found dead with a ligature around his neck in 2013.

Aleksandr Subbotin, 43, A former top manager of LUKoil, was found dead on 8 May 2022 in the basement of a friend’s house.

Sergei Protosenya, 55, former top manager at Russian gas giant Novatek, his wife, and daughter had been found dead in a rented villa in the town of Lloret de Mar near Barcelona on 6 May 2022. The 55-year-old millionaire was found hanged, while his wife and daughter had been stabbed to death in the villa.

Gennady Lopyrev, 69, who was once a lieutenant general in the Federal Guards Service, charged with overseeing Putin’s protection, died in prison this month from an unspecified “illness” after having no previously reported health conditions. Lopyrev, who was jailed in 2017 for ten years on bribery charges, is reported to have overseen the construction of Putin’s presidential palace in Sochi and was rumored to be applying for early parole.

Roman Malyk, a senior military commissar for the city of Partizansk in Russia’s far east who was responsible for sending Russians to fight, was found dead in October 2022. Local media reported that his body had been found hanging from a fence.

Yuri Voronov, 61, a millionaire businessman with ties to Gazprom, the state-owned energy giant, was found on dead from a gunshot wound to the head. His body was discovered 4 May 2022 in the swimming pool of a luxury property near St Petersburg.

Vladislav Avayev, 51, a former Gazprombank vice-president, is said to have shot his wife and 13-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself. Their bodies were found 18 April 2022 inside their multimillion-pound apartment in Moscow.

Sergey Protosenya, 55, a Russian oligarch who had served as top manager at Russia’s Novotek energy giant, was said to have killed his wife and 18-year-old daughter before killing himself by hanging at the family’s home in Spain. The bodies were discovered by his son on 19 April 2022.

Leonid Shulman, 60, the head of Gazprom’s transport service, was discovered dead in the bathroom of his elite property near St Petersburg on 30 January 2022. Shulman was under investigation for fraud.

Alexander Tyulakov, another high-ranking Gazprom official, was found hanged from a tree in a village near St. Petersburg on 25 February 2022.

Mikhail Watford, a Ukrainian-born Russian billionaire, was found dead in his home in Surrey, England on 28 February 2022.

Vasily Melnikov, 43, a Russian oligarch, was found dead alongside his wife and two children, in Nizhny Novgorod in late March 2022.

Andrei Krukovsky, 37, General Director of the Estosadok Krasnaya Polyana, a ski resort owned by Gazprom, died when he fell of cliff near the Achipse Fortress in Sochi. His body was found on 1 May 2022.

Vladimir Sungorkin, 68, Editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, died on 14 September 2022 after suffocating following what was described as a stroke.

Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, Director of Digital Logistics, a Russian Railways subsidiary, fell of the balcony of his Moscow apartment on 28 September 2022, after reportedly firs shooting himself in the head.

Nikolay Petrunin, 46, Deputy of the State Duma, died in San Juan, Porto Rico, on 12 October 2022 following what was described as complications from a COVID-1 infection.

Nikolai Mushegian, 29, co-founder of MakerDAO, a cryptocurrency platform, drowned off the coast of San Juan, Porto  Rico on 28 October 2022.

Vyacheslav Taran,53, co-founder of Libertex, a cryptocurrency and foreign exchange market company, died in helicopter crash in Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera, on 25 November 2022.

Grigory Kochenov, 41, creative Director of Agima, an IT company, fell to his death from his balcony on 7 December 2022 while officials from the Investigative Committee executed a search warrant for his apartment in Nizhny Novgorod.

Dmitriy Zelenov, 50, co-founder of Donstroy, a construction company, reportedly became ill and fell over a railing and hit his head on 9 December 2022 in Antibes in the  French Riviera. He later died in hospital without regaining consciousness.

Vladimir Bidenov, 61, business associate and travel companion of Pavel Antov, reportedly died of heart problems on 22 December 2022 in Hotel Sai International, Rayagada, Odisha, India. Two days later, Pavel Antov fell to his death from a window in the same hotel

Alexander Buzakov, 66, director General of the Admiralty Shipyards, died suddenly on 24 December 2022, the day after he attended the float-out ceremony of the new Lada class submarine Velikie Luki. No cause of death given.

Alexei Maslov, 69, former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces and special representative of Uralvagonzavod, died “unexpectedly” 24 December 2022 in a military hospital. No cause given.

Dmitry Pavochka, 49, former manager of Roscosmos, Sukhoi, Lukoil, Bank Menatep and Russdragmet, died on 26 January 2023 after reportedly being burned alive after falling asleep with a lit cigarette.

Marina Yankina, 58, head of the financial support department of the Ministry of Defence for the Western Military District, was found dead on 16 February 2023 after falling from a window on the 16th-floor of a high-rise building.

Viatcheslav Rovneiko, 59, oil magnate, co-founder of Urals Energy, co-owner of Belgian oil company Nafta (B) NV, director of Interregional Fuel Union; ex-KGB spy, found unconscious in his house on 22 February 2023. Subsequent medical help could not save his life.

Igor Shkurko, 49, deputy director of Yakutskenergo, was found dead in his cell on 4 April 2023 at the detention center in Yakutsk.

Pyotr Kucherenko, 46, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, died after falling ill on board a flight from Cuba to Russia on 20 May 2023

Artyom Bartenev, 42, Federal Judge of the Kirovsky District Court, was found dead on 8 June 2023 after falling 12 stories from his apartment window in Kazan, Tatarstan.

Grigory Klinishov, 92, physicist and co-creator of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, was found dead in his Moscow apartment, reportedly from an apparent suicide.

Kristina Baikova, 28, vice-president of Loko-Bank, fell from her apartment at the 11th floor on 24 June 2023.

Anton Cherepennikov, 40, billionaire owner and head of state-affiliated company Citadel specializing in digital wiretapping equipment and telecommunications monitoring technology, was found dead in his Moscow office on 22 July 2023.

II. Journalists (2000-2018)
Note: The list includes the names of 122 Russian journalists and editors who were killed between 2000 and 2018. We will publish the names and circumstances of death of Russian journalists killed between 2018 and 223 in a future issue.

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 high number of journalists who criticized the way Russia was conducting the war against the Chechen rebels).

The list is based oncompilations 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 killers were brought to trial and spent a short time in jail before being released.


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

·  9 March – Artyom BorovikSovershenno 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 KhatloniRadio 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 TepsurkayevReutersChechnya. 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 PogodinNovoye Delo newspaper, Nizhni Novgorod. Homicide.

·  8 March – Natalya SkrylNashe Vremya newspaper, Taganrog. Homicide.

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

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

·  4 April – Vitaly Sakhn-ValdphotojournalistKursk. Homicide. Conviction.

·  25 April – Leonid ShevchenkoPervoye Chtenie newspaper, Volgograd. Homicide.

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

·  20 May – Alexander PlotnikovGostiny 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 VasilievCheboksary 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 ShvetsTV-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 SukhanovATK-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 IvanovaTV 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, whose book, Putin’s Russia, accused the Kremlin leader of turning the country into a police state. She was shot in her apartment building’s elevator. 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. The convictions of the five defendants were overturned on appeal 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 ShurpayevDagestani 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.