In recent years we have seen a rise in the number of high-profile journalists being killed in Russia, highlighting the need for greater protection for those who report on sensitive issues. In this piece, we will explore the stories of five such journalists who lost their lives while carrying out their work.
Sparked interest on this topic comes after a Russian court finds Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, not guilty of espionage charges. Gershkovich was arrested and accused of obtaining confidential information relating to Russian military technology. However, the court found no evidence to support the charges, leading to his acquittal.
1) Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist and human rights activist who was known for her coverage of the Second Chechen War. On October 7, 2006, she was found shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in Moscow. Politkovskaya had received numerous threats prior to her murder and had been the victim of a poisoning attempt in 2004.
2) Paul Klebnikov
Paul Klebnikov was an investigative journalist who worked for Forbes magazine. He was known for his coverage of Russia’s oligarchs and the country’s business elite. On July 9, 2004, Klebnikov was leaving his office in Moscow when he was shot several times and died at the scene. His murder remains unsolved.
3) Natalya Estemirova
Natalya Estemirova was a human rights activist and journalist who worked for the Memorial Human Rights Center in Chechnya. On July 15, 2009, she was abducted from her home in Grozny and found dead later that day in neighboring Ingushetia. Estemirova had been documenting human rights abuses in Chechnya and had received numerous threats prior to her murder.
4) Domnikov Igor
Domnikov was a journalist who worked for Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper known for its critical reporting. On May 12, 2000, he was attacked outside his Moscow apartment and beaten with a hammer. He died several months later from his injuries. Domnikov had been investigating corruption in the Russian government at the time of his attack.
5) Dmitry Kholodov
Dmitry Kholodov was a journalist who worked for the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. On October 17, 1994, he was killed by a bomb that had been placed in his briefcase. Kholodov had been investigating corruption in the Russian military at the time of his death.
…whose death was with certainty linked to their investigative work and journalism.
Dmitry Kholodov – Dmitry was a Russian journalist, working for the national newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, investigating corruption in the Russian military during the 90s. He witnessed… 6/24 pic.twitter.com/TAiV1Yt5d8
— Pekka Kallioniemi (@P_Kallioniemi) March 14, 2023
These five journalists represent just a small fraction of the many reporters who have been targeted for their work in Russia. Despite the risks, journalists continue to report on sensitive issues and uncover the truth, often at great personal cost. It is essential that those responsible for these crimes are held accountable and that measures are put in place to protect journalists and ensure their safety while carrying out their vital work.