Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


When Boris Yeltsin resigned on December 31st, 1999 former KGB member Vladimir Putin assumed the role of acting President of the Russian Federation. He has been the face of the man leading Russia ever since. On March 3rd, 2000 - just over two months later - a man named Artyom Borovik was killed in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from a Moscow airport. Borovik was a journalist and he apparently had ruffled quite a few feathers.

Via Highbeam:
A plane crash that claims nine lives is always going to be a tragedy. But when it happens in the midst of a season of Russian political intrigue, and when two of the victims are prominent men with plenty of enemies, it takes on a whole new dimension.
Borovik was the first in a long line of Russian journalists who have died under Putin's reign. In fact, as of March 11th, 2007 - when a man named Andrew Osborn chronicled them - the number had reached 20. The first of those 20 was apparently Borovik:
Artyom Borovik

Senior executive at investigative magazine 'Completely Secret' that exposed the misdeeds of the rich and powerful. Died on 3 March 2000 in a plane crash that the authorities believe may not have been accidental.
Via Osborn's piece at the Independent:
Shot, stabbed or poisoned, the journalists have two things in common: no one has been convicted, or in most cases even arrested, after their deaths. And all of them had angered powerful vested interests which appear to suffer little restraint in dealing with their enemies.
Osborn interviewed a man named Oleg Panfilov for the article, who is identified as president of the Moscow-based Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations (CJES).
Mr Panfilov makes a direct link between such intimidation and the presidency. "The problem is with Putin himself," he said. "He showed his true colours with Politkovskaya's death." In the eyes of many, he appeared dismissive and slow to react. "Putin takes pleasure in launching verbal attacks on journalists," Mr Panfilov went on. "It is he who defines the atmosphere in which we work."
I talked about this more extensively here. In a span of 10 years, at least 20 Russian journalists have died on Putin's watch. No one was convicted in connection with those deaths. One of them died in a plane crash. A common thread they all shared was work exposing corruption, shady dealings, criminal investigations, etc. - all things that would likely put them in direct opposition to someone like Putin.

Read it all.

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