Russia is unquestionably a dangerous place for journalists — less so than only Iraq and Algeria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Thirteen of them have been killed since Mr. Putin came to power in 2000, a little more than two a year on average.
The killings — and the failure to solve them — have created an atmosphere of impunity and violence that extends beyond those whose writings or broadcasts anger those in government or business. That was also lamented here, inside an airy white-stone hall at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery.
Anna Politkovskaya’s killing was the third mob-style assassination of prominence in the last month alone. Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, who led efforts to clean up the dirty money of the country’s banking system, was killed as he left a soccer game on Sept. 13. Less than two weeks later, Enver Ziganshin, the chief engineer of Kovytka, a potentially lucrative gas field in Siberia at the center of a dispute with the government, was shot in the back and head at his bathhouse in the countryside.