Moscow: Putin's smears and insinuations fool no one; add insult to injury
Dubai -- 12 October 2006
Rubbing it in, Putin style
PRESIDENT Putin of Russia is an angry man. He is angry that celebrated Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya has died on him, unleashing a global wave of criticism against his regime.
Putin is angry that Politkovskaya, who until her death tormented him with her strident criticism of his war in Chechnya, is haunting him even after her exit. So it's no wonder that a bitter and frustrated Putin says that those behind Politkovskaya's assassination have damaged Russia more than her writings did.
But the Russian leader is wrong if he thinks he can smear the fearless journalist as someone who was not 'faithful to father Russia' by such heartless remarks. The throng of thousands of ordinary people who turned up to pay tribute to Politkovskaya yesterday spoke volumes about the enduring legacy of the free-spirited journalist. There is no doubt now that she paid the ultimate price for exposing Russia's dirty war in Chechnya.
Putin cannot fool his people by accusing Russian 'exiles' of masterminding Politkovskaya's killing to discredit Russia. Such insinuations will do nothing to shift the spotlight on his authoritarian administration and its policies but will only add insult to injury.
If the Russian leader is pained by Politkovskaya's assassination, he should order an independent investigation into the killing. This is the least Russia can do for her courageous daughter.