Putin finally reacts to Anna Politkovskaya’s murder with cold-blooded statements

Vladimir Putin reacted to the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. However his public announcement concerning the journalist’s death was made in Germany rather than in Russia. Plus it was not exactly intentional - the announcement was made in response to some curious German reporter’s question.

Valdimir Putin made two note-worthy comments: that the influence of the deceased “on the country’s political development was insignificant” and that her death could have been of interest to “people hiding from justice.”

The topic of Politkovskaya’s assassination overshadows the main reason why Putin came to Dresden: the Russian-German forum “Petersburg’s Dialogue.” Before heading off for the event president had talks with the current Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel that ended in a press-conference. The German politician honestly listed the questions which she and Putin had discussed.

One of them dealt with last week’s murder. “We talked about society and about Anna Politkovskaya. The Russian president highlighted the fact that everything will be done to investigate the crime,” Merkel said, “I believe that the freedom of the reporters must be protected in a democratic nation.”

After she finished Putin began listing the discussed topics just as honestly. “We talked about the Balkans, about Afghanistan, about the nuclear situation, of course.” Everyone kept expecting him to mention Politkovskaya. The situation was getting weird.

The day before President Putin went to Germany media agencies citing the press-conference in Kremlin reported that Putin promised Bush to do everything within his power to solve the murder. Now Merkel also tells the press that Putin had given her the same promise. But the leader has not mentioned anything about such promises to the Russian citizens. He hasn’t even mentioned the topic in public.

This time the expectations failed yet again: the president did not say anything about the incident. He may have held his peace to the end if a German journalist had not asked him a very confusing question. “My impression is that the president is also very concerned,” the reporter said.

Valdimir Putin’s face did not change a bit when he began answering the question. “Regardless of who has done this we must recognize thatit isa hideous crime,” Putin said. Having acknowledged that Politkovskaya was critical of the nation’s leadership the president added, “However the degree of her influence on the country’s political development, as many reporters confirm, was insignificant.

This is a cruel assassination of a woman, a mother, directed against the current Russian leadership. And it harms the leadership a lot more than her (Politkovskaya’s) publications ever did.” After the announcement Putin reassured everyone present that “everything possible” would be done to bring the criminals to justice.

Not every public figure, especially not the head of a nation, is capable of saying in front of the whole world that the famous murdered journalist had practically no effect on the political situation in the country. Even if it actually had been the case…

During the forum “Peterburg’s Dialogue,” towhich Putin and Merkel went together after the press-conference Politkovskaya’s murder ended up being the topic of the hour once again. Head of the media representatives approached the president, “We were grieved to find out about the journalist’s death. We would like to know Mr. Putin whether you could provide protection for the journalists?”

Putin was silent…. But he returned to the question later – in a statement that concluded the forum.“We know that kidnappings or killings of reporters are not isolated cases. It is unfortunate that it happens in our country. Not long ago another journalist Paul Khlebnikov was murdered. After the publication of his book “Conversations with a Barabarian” where he presented the characters in bad light he was killed.”

President Putin didn’t mention the fact that the alleged murderers of Khlebnikov were set free. “Perhaps Politkovskaya’s views were somewhat extreme. She was known in the rest of the world but she didn’t have much effect back home,” Putin repeated himself again. “I don’t know who killed her. But it is clear that the people hiding from justice have been pondering the idea of sacrificing someone in order to encourage Anti-Russian sentiments around the globe.”

That basically named the criminals. Though the president didn’t mention any names it was not hard to guess that he was talking about Leonid Nevzlin and Boris Berezovskiy…


Translated by Natalia Vysotskaya

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Author`s name Oksana Anikina