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Anna Politkovskaya
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    (August 30, 1958-October 7, 2006)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Birth name was Anna Mazepa
    Journalist and human rights activist
    Wrote 'A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya,' 'A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya' and 'Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy'
    Shot dead in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building
    Her marriage broke up over the pressure of her career.
    Some critics said she was more of an advocate than a journalist.
    In 'Putin's Russia,' she wrote, 'It is we who are responsible for Putin's policies.... Society has shown limitless apathy.'
    She refused offers of asylum in Western Europe, saying she could not abandon the Russian people.
    She said of the constant death threats, 'You don't get used to this, but you learn to live with it.'
    After being detained by Russian troops in Chechnya, she was beaten, threatened with rape and subjected to a mock execution (2001).
    Hostage takers during the Nord-Ost Theatre siege in Moscow (2002) and the Beslan school siege (2004) demanded that she be part of the negotiating team.
    She may have been poisoned while on her way to Beslan.
    She was killed on Vladimir Putin's birthday, fueling suspicions her death was a 'gift' for the Russian leader.
    The head of the journalists' union in Russia said, 'If all journalists had been as courageous as Anna Politkovskaya, she wouldn't have been killed because those who killed her would have hesitated at the thought that another journalist would take her place.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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