By Anna Politkovskaya, Arch Tait, Scott Simon
Anna Politkovskaya, one in all Russia’s so much fearless reporters, used to be gunned down in a freelance killing in Moscow within the fall of 2006. prior to her dying, Politkovskaya accomplished this searing, intimate checklist of lifestyles in Russia from the parliamentary elections of December 2003 to the awful summer time of 2005, while the state used to be nonetheless reeling from the horrors of the Beslan university siege. In A Russian Diary, Politkovskaya dares to inform the reality in regards to the devastation of Russia lower than Vladimir Putin–a fact all of the extra pressing due to the fact her tragic demise.
Writing with unflinching readability, Politkovskaya depicts a society strangled via cynicism and corruption. because the Russian elections draw close to, Politkovskaya describes how Putin neutralizes or jails his competitors, muzzles the clicking, shamelessly lies to the public–and then secures a sham landslide that plunges the population into mass melancholy. In Moscow, oligarchs blow hundreds of thousands of rubles on nights of partying whereas Russian squaddies freeze to demise. Terrorist assaults turn into virtually regular occasions. uncomplicated freedoms dwindle day-by-day.
And then, in September 2004, armed terrorists take greater than twelve hundred hostages within the Beslan college, and a distinct type of insanity descends.
In prose incandescent with outrage, Politkovskaya captures either the horror and the absurdity of lifestyles in Putin’s Russia: She fearlessly interviews a deranged Chechen warlord in his fortified lair. She documents the numb grief of a mom who misplaced a toddler within the Beslan siege and but clings to the fable that her son will go back domestic sometime. The incredible ostentation of the hot wealthy, the glimmer of wish that incorporates the association of the get together of infantrymen’ moms, the mounting police brutality, the fathomless public apathy–all are woven into Politkovskaya’s devastating portrait of Russia today.
“If anyone thinks they could take convenience from the ‘optimistic’ forecast, allow them to do so,” Politkovskaya writes. “It is unquestionably the simpler approach, however it can be a dying sentence for our grandchildren.”
A Russian Diary is testomony to Politkovskaya’s ferocious refusal to take the simpler way–and the poor fee she paid for it. it's a great, uncompromising exposé of a deteriorating society via one of many world’s bravest writers.
Praise for Anna Politkovskaya
“Anna Politkovskaya outlined the human moral sense. Her relentless pursuit of the reality within the face of probability and darkness testifies to her distinctive position in journalism–and humanity. This ebook merits to be greatly read.”
–Christiane Amanpour, leader overseas correspondent, CNN
“Like all nice investigative newshounds, Anna Politkovskaya introduced ahead human truths that rewrote the legitimate tale. we are going to proceed to learn her, and research from her, for years.”
“Suppression of freedom of speech, of expression, reaches its savage final within the homicide of a author. Anna Politkovskaya refused to lie, in her paintings; her homicide is a ghastly act, and an assault on international literature.”
“Beyond mourning her, it'd be extra seemly to recollect her by way of being attentive to what she wrote.”
Read Online or Download A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia PDF
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Additional info for A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia
It is bizarre, of course, but Stalin played the same game. Today, as luck would have it, is International Human Rights Day, so Putin summoned our foremost champions of human rights (as selected by him) to the Kremlin for a meeting of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. m. and was chaired by Ella Pam-filova,* a democrat from the Yeltsin era. The pediatrician Dr. Leonid Roshal spoke for one minute about how much he loves the president; Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group spoke for five minutes about improper use of state resources during elections (which Putin didn't deny); Ida Kuklina of the League of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers spoke for three minutes about the exploitation of soldiers as slave labor and other army horrors; Valerii Abramkin of the Center for Reform of the Criminal Justice System spoke for five minutes about the things that go on in places of detention (the president seemed to appreciate his speech more than the other speeches); Ella Pamfilova spoke at great length about the dismal relations between human rights campaigners and the law enforcement agencies; Svetlana Gannushkina of the Memorial Human Rights Center had three minutes to explain the implications of the new law on citizenship; Tamara Mor-shchakova, adviser to the Constitutional Court, had seven minutes to present proposals for making the state authorities publicly accountable; Alexey Simonov spoke for three minutes on freedom of speech and the predicament of journalists; and Sergey Borisov and Alexander Auzan of the Consumers’ Association talked of the need to protect small businesses.
For the most part, Putin listened to what was being said and, when he did speak, presented himself as being on their side. He mimicked being a human rights campaigner. Evidently, now that the democrats have been silenced, he will represent Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces for us. The prediction of the political analysts on the night of the parliamentary elections has come to pass. This was probably Putin's main purpose in meeting the human rights campaigners: to show them that their concerns were his.
A majority had voted for the phantom United Russia Party, whose sole political program was to support Putin. United Russia had rallied Russia's bureaucrats to its banner—all the former Soviet Communist Party and Young Communist League functionaries now employed by myriad government agencies—and they had jointly allocated huge sums of money to promote its electoral deceptions. Reports we received from the regions show how this was done. Outside one of the polling stations in Saratov, a lady was dispensing free vodka at a table with a banner reading “Vote for Tretiak,” the United Russia candidate.