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Politkovskaya's Death, Other Killings, Raise Questions About Russian Democracy

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006

Over the last month, Russia has experienced a surge of contract killings, with five high-profile murders -- a potent reminder that the country is far from the stable democracy its leaders say it is. The Oct. 7 murder of the anti-Kremlin journalist and human rights advocate Anna Politkovskaya is the most prominent of these, and the latest of 11 murders of Russian journalists in the last six years.

Sadly, however, Politkoskaya's is not the most recent such killing. Aleksandr Plokhin, manager of the Moscow branch of the state-owned Vneshtorgbank, was shot dead on Oct. 10. And Anatoly Voronin, an executive at the state-owned ITAR-TASS news agency, was stabbed to death in his flat in Moscow Oct. 13. ...

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