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, one in every of Russia’s such a lot fearless reporters, was once 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 existence in Russia from the parliamentary elections of December 2003 to the bleak summer season of 2005, while the kingdom used to be nonetheless reeling from the horrors of the Beslan tuition siege. In A Russian Diary, Politkovskaya dares to inform the reality in regards to the devastation of Russia below Vladimir Putin–a fact all of the extra pressing in view that her tragic dying.
Writing with unflinching readability, Politkovskaya depicts a society strangled by means of cynicism and corruption. because the Russian elections draw close to, Politkovskaya describes how Putin neutralizes or jails his competitors, muzzles the click, 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 dying. Terrorist assaults develop into nearly common occasions. easy freedoms dwindle day-by-day.

And then, in September 2004, armed terrorists take greater than twelve hundred hostages within the Beslan college, and a special form 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 toddler within the Beslan siege and but clings to the fantasy that her son will go back domestic sometime. The dazzling ostentation of the hot wealthy, the glimmer of wish that incorporates the association of the occasion 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 means, however it is additionally a dying sentence for our grandchildren.”

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

Praise for Anna Politkovskaya
“Anna Politkovskaya outlined the human sense of right and wrong. Her relentless pursuit of the reality within the face of hazard and darkness testifies to her individual position in journalism–and humanity. This ebook merits to be largely read.”
–Christiane Amanpour, leader foreign correspondent, CNN

“Like all nice investigative newshounds, Anna Politkovskaya introduced ahead human truths that rewrote the professional tale. we are going to proceed to learn her, and research 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 global literature.”
–Nadine Gordimer

“Beyond mourning her, it might be extra seemly to recollect her via being attentive to what she wrote.”
–James Meek

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

Sample text

Within a few years Anna was able to meet the criteria for a job at the in-house magazine of Aeroflot, the state airline of the USSR. The journalism was probably trickier than what Americans associate with airline monthlies (creating a favorable impression of the grimy and treacherous Aeroflot fleet in the early 1980s would have tested Dostoevsky's imagination). But she also qualified for free plane tickets, which she used to explore the breadth of her own vast, dazzling country. She fell in love with the majestic immensity of Russia's variety and soul.

Shortly after the elections, Putin went so far as to inform us that Parliament was a place not for debate, but for legislative tidying up. He was pleased that the new Duma would not be given to debating. The Communists won forty-one seats as a party, plus a further twelve through individual Communists standing independently. It pains me to say that today it is the Communist deputies who are the most moderate and sensible voices in the Fourth Duma. They were overthrown only twelve years ago, yet by late 2003 they had been transfigured into the great white hope of Russia's democrats.

They talked about the hatred that had accumulated in the hearts of many people, “especially decent people who could not bring themselves to support Zhirinovsky,” and the fact that the eclectic United Russia Party had managed to unite everybody, from the most liberal to the most reactionary. He predicted that the president would now stand in for the liberals in the ruling elite. On the same program, Vyacheslav Nikonov, the grandson of Molotov, suggested that young people had not turned out to vote and this was the main reason for the democrats’ defeat.

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