Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fear and Loathing in Russia

The shops in the big Russian cities have lovely supermarkets now, Russian TV has the most beautiful singers in the world and the doctors are good but it ain't easy to be a liberal ....

MOSCOW — Internet postings are calling on Russian nationalists to kill government critics — death lists that underscore the dangers journalists and rights activists face in Russia.Svetlana Gannushkina, a refugee rights activist, tops a list of 89 people published by a radical nationalist group, the Russian Will, which has urged "patriots" to take up arms and execute her and other friends of "alien" peoples.

"Since there is nothing I can do in this situation, I try not to think about it," the soft-spoken, 64-year-old Gannushkina said.

Slain investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya was on such a list, for her reporting on Chechnya and criticism of the Kremlin. Her slaying Saturday has cast a chill over human rights activists and journalists who criticize government policies and increasingly fear for their safety in a repressive climate.

More here from Friday's St Petersburg Times.

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