Since the late 1990s a very long succession of opponents of Vladimir Putin have met violent deaths that were convenient for him. Almost certainly in the hundreds of individuals murdered. The only ones we know about are those with high profiles, often businessmen, politicians and journalists. The last of these have been very badly hit with over a hundred that we know of, who criticised Putin and/or his policies, meeting violent deaths. It is very unhealthy for a journalist not to totally support Putin’s lies in Russia. This article is just a short and partial list of human beings who met violent and often nasty deaths and who opposed Putin. Remember always that Putin has absolute power in Russia so no political killing is going to happen without his approval, or orders. And that the Chechen Wars were deeply unpopular forcing Putin into radical action to sustain them.
Galina Starovoitova, on 20 November 1998 gunned down in the entryway of her apartment building in St. Petersburg. A politician and ethnographer known for her work to protect ethnic minorities and promote democratic reforms in Russia. In April 1998, she became the leader of Democratic Russia. Vladimir Putin was appointed as head of FSB in July 1998. Galina Starovoitova tried to prevent such people from coming to power using her personal connections with different political figures and with Yeltsin’s wife. Starovoytova opposed the broad mandate of FSB. She made this part of her political platform in Democratic Russia.
Igor Domnikov, died July 16, 2000 two months after being attacked, hit repeatedly on the head with a heavy object, presumably a hammer in the entryway of his apartment building in southeastern Moscow. Almost certainly this was mistaken identity. Domnikov covered social and cultural issues, for a Novaya Gazeta, the intended victim was an investigative reporter named Oleg Sultanov, who lived in the same building.
Sergey Novikov, killed July 26, 2000, in Smolensk, Russia, he was shot four times and killed at around 9:00 p.m. in the stairwell of his apartment building. He owned the only independent radio station in Smolensk. Radio Vesna often criticized the government of Smolensk Province. On July 23, Novikov took part in a television panel that discussed the alleged corruption of the provincial deputy governor. He reportedly received death threats earlier in the year after announcing his intent to run for the provincial governorship. This is just one of many murders that gave Putin total control of the press. It became very dangerous to oppose Putin and his cronies.
Iskandar Khatloni, on 22 September 2000 Khatloni was attacked inside his Moscow apartment by an axe-wielding assailant. Khatloni was struck twice in the head and then stumbled onto the street. Taken to Moscow’s Botkin Hospital he died that night of a serious head wound. Iskandar was a journalist from Tajikistan who worked for Radio Free Europe and was reporting on human rights abuses in Chechnya. In addition to his journalistic work he was a distinguished poet and had published four volumes of verse. This is typical of how Putin got control of the Chechen news agenda. Report Putin lies and live, report the truth and die.
Sergey Ivanov, died October 3, 2000, in Togliatti, Russia, shot five times in the head and chest, in front of his apartment building. He was the director of the largest independent television company in Togliatti. I am not going to list the 100+ from the media who were killed, you must be getting the idea by now.
Adam Tepsurgayev, shot shot in the thigh and groin he bled to death in the village of Alkhan-Kala on 21 November 2000, in Chechnya, Russia, he was a 24-year-old freelance cameraman. During the first Chechen war (1994-1996), Tepsurgayev worked as a driver and fixer for foreign journalists. Later, he started shooting footage from the front lines of the conflict between Russian troops and separatist guerrillas.
Vladimir Golovlev was shot dead in a Moscow street on 21 August 2002. One of the co-founders of Liberal Russia. A few months earlier Mr Golovlev had left the Union of Right-Wing Forces and become one of the founder members of Liberal Russia, with the political and financial backing of Boris Berezovsky, the businessman and Putin opponent who was living in exile in Britain.
Sergei Yushenkov, shot dead near his house in Moscow on 17 April 2003. A liberal Russian politician who struggled for democracy, rapid free market economic reforms, and higher human rights standards in Russia. Yushenkov was an elected member of all Russian Parliaments from 1989 to 2003 and was the strongest proponent of reform in the Russian Army, he was a prominent critic of the First and Second Chechen Wars. All of which made him a great political opponent of Putin.
Yuri Shchekochikhin, died suddenly in July 2003 from a mysterious illness. The symptoms of his illness fit a pattern of poisoning by radioactive materials. He was an investigative journalist, writer, and liberal lawmaker in the Russian parliament. He made his name writing about and campaigning against the influence of organized crime and corruption. He died just a few days before his scheduled departure to the United States where he planned to meet with FBI investigators.
Nikolai Girenko, killed by a rifle shot through the entrance door of his St. Petersburg apartment on 19 June 2004. An ethnologist and human rights activist. He participated in international human rights defenders’ congresses and provided more than twenty expert examinations at the request of Moscow and St. Petersburg law enforcement bodies and served as an expert witness at trials.
Paul Klebnikov, on July 9, 2004, while leaving the Forbes office, Klebnikov was attacked on a Moscow street late at night, fired at from a slowly moving car. He was an American journalist and historian of Russian history. He worked for Forbes magazine for more than 10 years and at the time of his death was chief editor of the Russian edition of Forbes. Commentators have speculated that the magazine’s story on Russia’s 100 richest people may have triggered the attack. His murder in Moscow in 2004 was seen as a blow against investigative journalism in Russia. Exactly the sort of intimidation that Putin specialises in.
Roman Tsepov, fell sick on September 11, 2004, and died on September 24. A postmortem investigation found a poisoning by an unspecified radioactive material (which only the state could have done). He was a Saint Petersburg businessman, gangster and confidant to Vladimir Putin during Putin’s work at the Saint Petersburg City Administration. When Vladimir Putin’s came to power, Tsepov became one of the most influential figures in the financial and political life of Saint Petersburg. He was also affiliated with Saint Petersburg branches of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and FSB. Presumably his vast criminal and corruption activity became an embarrassment, or a deal went wrong.
Andrei Kozlov, on 13 September 2006 in Moscow two gunmen shot him in the head and neck, he died of his injuries the next day. Kozlov was the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation from 1997 to 1999 and again in 2002 to 2006. As head of bank supervision, Kozlov withdrew licences from banks suspected of money laundering and other crimes. Diskont Bank in Russia had been accused of money laundering, Andrey Kozlov revoked Diskont’s license and days later he was murdered.
Anna Politkovskaya, on 7 October 2006 found shot dead in the elevator of her apartment block in central Moscow. She was a journalist, writer, and human rights activist known for her opposition to the Second Chechen War and President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Politkovskaya made her reputation reporting from Chechnya and her articles about conditions there were turned into several books. Russian readers’ main access to her investigations and publications was through Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper known for its often-critical investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs. From 2000 onwards, she received numerous international awards for her work. In 2004, she published a personal account, Putin’s Russia.
Alexander Litvinenko. poisoning by radioactive polonium-210 which resulted in his death in London on 23 November 2006. An officer of the Russian FSB secret service who specialised in tackling organised crime. In November 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of the Russian tycoon and oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Litvinenko wrote two books, Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within and Lubyanka Criminal Group, wherein he accused the Russian secret services of staging the Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power. He also accused Putin of ordering the murder in October 2006 of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Sergei Magnitsky, on November 16 2008 died in Butyrka prison in Moscow after gross mistreatment, attributed first by prison officials as a “rupture to the abdominal membrane” and later to heart attack. Magnitsky was an accountant and auditor who had alleged there had been a large-scale theft from the Russian state sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials.
Stanislav Markelov, shot to death on 19 January 2009 while leaving a news conference in Moscow less than half a mile from the Kremlin. Anastasia Baburova, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta who tried to come to his assistance, was also shot and killed. Markelov was a Russian human rights lawyer. He participated in a number of publicized cases, including those of left-wing political activists and antifascists persecuted since the 1990s, as well as those of victims of police violence. Markelov was a president of the Russian Rule of Law Institute, he represented Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in Moscow in 2006, Mikhail Beketov, the editor of a pro-opposition newspaper who was severely beaten in November 2008 and many Chechen civilians who had been tortured. Anastasia Baburova received a shot in the head. Brought to the hospital, she died a few hours later , becoming the fourth journalist from Novaya Gazeta to be murdered since 2000.
Natalya Estemirova, abducted on 15 July 2009 around 8:30 a.m. from her home in Grozny, Chechnya, her remains were found with bullet wounds in the head and chest area near the village of Gazi-Yurt, Ingushetia. Estemirova was an award-winning Russian human rights activist and board member of the Russian human rights organization Memorial. She was working on “extremely sensitive” cases of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
Boris Berezovsky, found dead at his home in Berkshire, UK, on 23 March 2013. A post-mortem examination found that his death was consistent with hanging.Berezovsky was a Russian business oligarch, government official and mathematician. He was a member of theRussian Academy of Sciences. An opponent of Vladimir Putin, Berezovsky clashed with the new president soon after his election in 2000 and was a vocal critic for the remainder of his life.
Alexei Devotchenko, died 5 November 2014 in Moscow, some Russian news outlets said he was discovered in a pool of blood in his apartment, while others claimed he was found inside his home. He was a well-known actor, gay activist and very strong and vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin who was prominent for years in the opposition movement. In March 10, 2010 he signed the petition of the Russian opposition Putin must go. On 18 November 2011, in his blog in the Live Journal, Devotchenko announced that renounced the title Honored Artist of Russia and the two State Prizes of Russia in protest against Putin. In March 2014, he signed a letter We are with you! in support of Ukraine.
Boris Nemtsov, shot and killed on 27 February 2015 on a bridge near the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow. Nemtsov was a scientist, statesman and liberal politician. He had a successful political career during the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin, and since 2000 had been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. He had been Vice Premier of Russia and a Security Council member from 1997 to 1998. He was elected several times as a Russian parliament member. Nemtsov was a member of the Congress of People’s Deputies (1990), Federation Council (1993–1997) and State Duma (1999–2003). He also worked as Vice Speaker of the State Duma and the leader of parliamentary group of Union of Right Forces. He co-founded Solidarnost opposition movement. In 2010 he co-formed the coalition For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption, which was refused registration as a party. Since 2012 Nemtsov was co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), a registered political party. Many saw him as the opposition politician most likely to replace Putin.
Obviously we only know the prominent people who were killed. We don’t know about those now dead who didn’t have a big profile. As you can see this is utterly horrendous. Putin is totally unfit to govern other people. And my earlier article on the nature of the man is completely vindicated.
Additional proof of his ruthlessness was the shooting down of MH17 by Russia. In order to stop the Ukrainian airforce from attacking Russian troops on the ground Putin sent advanced Russian Army Buk ground to air missile system into Eastern Ukraine. These shot down several Ukrainian airforce aircraft. The problem was the very many commercial aircraft overflying the area, which Putin seems to have been totally reckless about the safety of. Eventually they shot down what they thought was a Ukrainian cargo aircraft, but it was 777 with 298 people on board. Rather than accept blame Putin has come out with a litany of lies (here and here), that are totally destroyed by aviation experts but which are believed by the hard of thinking. The truth is here and here and here.
More evidence of Putin’s ruthlessness was how he came to power. He became head of FSB in July 1998. It is widely accepted that the FSB bombed Russian apartments in 1999, killing 293 and injuring 651 people in a false flag action. Buynaksk on September 4, Moscow on September 9 and September 13 and Volgodonsk on September 16. The instability caused by these enabled Putin to start the Second Chechyn War and to gain the Presidency. Putin became Acting President on 31 December 1999 when Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned (you can guess what really happened) and won the subsequent 2000 presidential election (Putin fixes elections so he always wins them). Yury Felshtinsky, Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky, David Satter, Boris Kagarlitsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky all say that Putin was responsible for the apartment explosions.
Putin uses the techniques of Hybrid Warfare and the Russian philosophy of “‘Maskirovka” against his opponents. He has no honour and will never keep his word, he lies, prevaricates, obfuscates and equivocates in EVERYTHING he does. He acts like a psychopath with a Napoleon Complex. And he is the most dangerous man in the world.