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, certainly one of Russia’s such a lot fearless newshounds, used to be gunned down in a freelance killing in Moscow within the fall of 2006. previous to her loss of life, Politkovskaya accomplished this searing, intimate list of lifestyles in Russia from the parliamentary elections of December 2003 to the awful summer time of 2005, while the kingdom was once nonetheless reeling from the horrors of the Beslan college siege. In A Russian Diary, Politkovskaya dares to inform the reality concerning the devastation of Russia below Vladimir Putin–a fact the entire extra pressing considering the fact that her tragic demise.
Writing with unflinching readability, Politkovskaya depicts a society strangled via cynicism and corruption. because the Russian elections draw close to, Politkovskaya describes how Putin neutralizes or jails his rivals, 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 hundreds of thousands of rubles on nights of partying whereas Russian infantrymen freeze to loss of life. Terrorist assaults turn into virtually standard occasions. easy freedoms dwindle day-by-day.

And then, in September 2004, armed terrorists take greater than twelve hundred hostages within the Beslan institution, and a unique type of insanity descends.
In prose incandescent with outrage, Politkovskaya captures either the horror and the absurdity of lifestyles 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 baby within the Beslan siege and but clings to the fable that her son will go back domestic sometime. The extraordinary ostentation of the recent wealthy, the glimmer of wish that incorporates the association of the social gathering 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 unquestionably the simpler method, however it can be a loss of life sentence for our grandchildren.”

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

Praise for Anna Politkovskaya
“Anna Politkovskaya outlined the human judgment of right and wrong. Her relentless pursuit of the reality within the face of possibility and darkness testifies to her individual position in journalism–and humanity. This e-book merits to be commonly read.”
–Christiane Amanpour, leader overseas correspondent, CNN

“Like all nice investigative journalists, Anna Politkovskaya introduced ahead human truths that rewrote the reputable tale. we are going to proceed to learn her, and examine 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 might be extra seemly to recollect her via paying attention to what she wrote.”
–James Meek

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

Example text

The prediction of the political analysts on the night of the parliamentary elections has come to pass. This was probably Putin's main purpose in meeting the human rights campaigners: to show them that their concerns were his. He is an excellent imitator. When need be, he is one of you; when that is not necessary, he is your enemy. He is adept at wearing other people's clothes, and many are taken in by this performance. The assembly of human rights campaigners also melted in the face of Putin's impersonating of them and, despite a fundamentally different take on reality, they poured out their hearts to him.

I don't know. If the Union of Right Forces were to admit that they had been wrong, we could discuss the possibility of an alliance with them. But while Nemtsov is pretending to be a dove of peace and Chubais* is talking about the liberal ideal, you'll have to forgive me, I'm not prepared to discuss that possibility. ” “You are at daggers drawn with the Union of Right Forces. You don't want an alliance with them, but you have embarked on a number of compromises with the president and his administration in order to obtain some degree of administrative support for your campaign.

The campaigners said there was no comparison: the Chechens were Russian citizens, unlike the Iraqis. Putin parried this by saying that Russia gave a better impression of itself than the USA, because we have pressed charges against military personnel who have committed crimes in Chechnya far more frequently than the United States has against its war criminals in Iraq. ” The human rights campaigners didn't let that pass: how many of those had led to sentences being passed? The question hung in the air, unanswered.

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