Last Friday, October 7, marked the tenth anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder. An investigative journalist from Russia and an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, Politkovskaya was assassinated in the elevator of her apartment complex because of her fearless and critical journalism. She was well-known for her reporting on human rights abuses and impunity in Checnhya, where Russia has waged two deadly wars since 1994 to prevent the region’s secession.
In honor of the anniversary last Friday, Russian and Western publications ran an overwhelming number of beautiful and heart-felt pieces penned by Politkovskaya’s colleagues, friends, and devotees.
For Russian journalist and author Irina Borogan, remembering Politkovskaya also meant acknowledging and amplifying the voices of other female Russian journalists who, despite continuing crackdown on free press and dangerous working conditions, remain at the forefront of independent investigative reporting in Russia. Borogan’s piece for The Guardian, “The Women Risking Everything to Report from Russia’s Frontlines,” reflects on the effect that Politkovskaya’s murder had on her female colleagues who are driven by their “desire to right wrongs and expose the Kremlin’s corrupt policies.”
For her article, Borogan spoke to reporters whose fearlessness and determination prove that persecuting journalists will not intimidate them into silence. Quite the opposite – it will make them stronger and more determined in their fight for justice.
After her death, many of her colleagues left the profession, fearing for their own safety. Others decided to stop reporting from the North Caucausus, where the bloody conflict was still raging.
But for some women working in the field, her death seemed to have the opposite effect.
Anecdotal evidence suggests there are now more independent female than male reporters covering the post-Soviet conflict zones, from the North Caucasus to eastern Ukraine, and many more women investigating authorities’ abuses and corruption.
Read the full article here.