A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, by Anna Politkovskaya, Arch Tait, Scott Simon

By Anna Politkovskaya, Arch Tait, Scott Simon

Anna Politkovskaya, one in every of Russia’s such a lot fearless newshounds, used to be gunned down in a freelance killing in Moscow within the fall of 2006. in advance of her dying, Politkovskaya accomplished this searing, intimate checklist of existence in Russia from the parliamentary elections of December 2003 to the awful summer season of 2005, while the kingdom was once nonetheless reeling from the horrors of the Beslan institution siege. In A Russian Diary, Politkovskaya dares to inform the reality concerning the devastation of Russia less than Vladimir Putin–a fact the entire extra pressing on account that her tragic loss of life.
Writing with unflinching readability, Politkovskaya depicts a society strangled by way of 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 millions of rubles on nights of partying whereas Russian squaddies freeze to loss of life. Terrorist assaults develop into nearly average occasions. uncomplicated freedoms dwindle day-by-day.

And then, in September 2004, armed terrorists take greater than twelve hundred hostages within the Beslan university, and a unique form of insanity descends.
In prose incandescent with outrage, Politkovskaya captures either the horror and the absurdity of existence in Putin’s Russia: She fearlessly interviews a deranged Chechen warlord in his fortified lair. She files the numb grief of a mom who misplaced a toddler within the Beslan siege and but clings to the fantasy that her son will go back domestic sometime. The superb ostentation of the recent wealthy, the glimmer of desire that includes 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 definitely the better manner, however it can also be a demise sentence for our grandchildren.”

A Russian Diary is testomony to Politkovskaya’s ferocious refusal to take the simpler way–and the negative expense she paid for it. it's a amazing, uncompromising exposé of a deteriorating society by means of one of many world’s bravest writers.

Praise for Anna Politkovskaya
“Anna Politkovskaya outlined the human sense of right and wrong. Her relentless pursuit of the reality within the face of chance and darkness testifies to her exclusive position in journalism–and humanity. This booklet merits to be generally read.”
–Christiane Amanpour, leader foreign correspondent, CNN

“Like all nice investigative newshounds, Anna Politkovskaya introduced ahead human truths that rewrote the legit tale. we'll proceed to learn her, and research from her, for years.”
–Salman Rushdie

“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.”
–Nadine Gordimer

“Beyond mourning her, it'd be extra seemly to recollect her via paying attention to what she wrote.”
–James Meek

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Additional info for A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia

Sample text

The question hung in the air, unanswered. Lyudmila Alexeyeva, leader of the Moscow Helsinki Group and an unofficial doyenne of Russian human rights campaigners, someone whom the state authorities have raised to iconic status as personifying the human rights community as far as the Kremlin is concerned, proposed convening a round table with the same participants to discuss the problems of Chechnya with the president. ” * There were indeed no discussions on Chechnya between Putin and the human rights campaigners, but after their December meeting some of them, along with some of the democrats, decided to switch allegiance from the defeated Yavlinsky and Nemtsov to the newly democratic Putin, whom they evidently supposed would serve just as well.

Embassy. Or visited her sister, Elena Kudimova, in London (Russian officials were glad to see her go, knowing that next to nothing she said or wrote outside of Russia would ever be heard or read there), and just stayed. She could have flown to Berlin or New York to accept one more award for heroism. She could have gone to a conference on the Caucasus in Paris or Vienna, told stirring stories of her indisputable courage to astounded students at Columbia, Stanford, or Iowa State, signed up with a think tank in Washington or Cambridge, and never have to go back to Moscow.

Now he has an enviable thirty-eight seats. The Rodina Party is another chauvinistic organization, led by Dmitry Rogozin* and created by the Kremlin's spin doctors specifically for this election. The aim was to draw moderately nationalist voters away from the more extreme National Bolsheviks. Rodina has done well too, with thirty-seven seats. * Ideologically, the new Duma was oriented toward Russian traditionalism rather than toward the West. All the pro-Putin candidates had pushed this line relentlessly.

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