Politkovskaya’s assassin pardoned by Russia in exchange for serving in Ukraine’s war

November 16,2023 684
Politkovskaya’s assassin pardoned by Russia in exchange for serving in Ukraine’s war

The Russian government has granted clemency to Sergei Khadjikurbanov, who was convicted for the murder of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. The criminal managed to secure release from serving his sentence by participating in the war against Ukraine, as reported by CNN.

Initially, Khadjikurbanov volunteered for military service while still incarcerated. Later, Putin granted clemency to the criminal, and the murderer entered into a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Khadjikurbanov’s lawyer claims that his client was “immediately offered a command position” due to his previous experience in the special forces in the 1990s.

Anna Politkovskaya gained prominence for exposing human rights abuses, particularly in Chechnya, and for her outspoken criticism of Putin. Prior to her murder, the journalist faced threats of violence and attempts to poison her. The assassination occurred on Putin’s 54th birthday.

Relatives and colleagues of Anna Politkovskaya criticized the decision of the Russian authorities, viewing it as senseless to seek justice in Russia. They consider it a horrific act of injustice and tyranny, a mockery of the memory of a person killed for her convictions and professional duty. 

Colleagues of the investigative journalist stated, “The killers will continue to do what they are accustomed to, mocking the victims, their relatives and friends, witnesses, the court, the law, and the state that has proven to be so weak that it turned to them for help and leniency.”

Sergei Khadjikurbanov killed Anna Politkovskaya in the elevator of her building with nine shots in 2006. At the time, he worked in the Russian law enforcement agencies. The crime became one of the most resonant attacks on journalists in Russia in the 2000s. Khadjikurbanov was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the masterminds behind the murder were never identified. Close associates of Politkovskaya did not consider the crime solved and insisted on further investigation.