IN MEMORY OF ANNA POLITKOVSKAJA
On the 7th of October Vladimir Putin will celebrate his 64th birthday. Ten years ago, on his 54th birthday, Anna Politkovskaja, one of the most courageous journalists of all time, was shot dead as she entered the lift in her block of flats in Moscow. She was a fierce critic of Putin’s reign and brutal campaign in Chechnya, for instance his horrifying bombardment of Grozny, which was destroyed like no other European city since World War II. On his 64th birthday Putin still reduces cities, in particular Aleppo, to total ruin, killing thousands of civilians. Unfortunately mr Putin is still considered a strong leader by many Russians and also by US presidential candidate Donald Trump. However a strong leader is someone who is accountable to parliament and has the guts to grant a free press the right to criticize him. Of course the Duma is completely purified of dissident voices and well a free press hardly exists in Russia, many other journalists have been assassinated. Ten years after her death, Anna Politkovskaja, with her fearless one-woman reporting, her relentless searching for truth, keeps on reminding us what real strength is.