While a report by a British judge found that Russian president Vladimir Putin probably approved of the Russian security service's plan to kill Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer turned Kremlin critic, justice remains far for many other dead, disappeared or jailed Putin critics.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 56 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992. Here are some of the most prominent Kremlin critics who have been killed or jailed in the last decade:
Nemtsov, a prominent critic of Putin who exposed corruption in the government, was gunned down in February near the Kremlin. At the time of his murder, Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, had been working on a report on Russia's role in separatist uprisings in eastern Ukraine in 2014. On the evening he was killed, Nemtsov had visited a Moscow radio program and encouraged Russians to come out to a protest against Putin.
In December, Russian investigators said they had four final suspects in the case. On Thursday the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee said the murder had been solved, though he did not name the perpetrators. Nemtsov's widow has blamed the Russian government for her husband's death.
As the editor in chief of Forbes Russia, Klebnikov wrote about the connections of business, politics and crime in the country. He was killed in 2004 while leaving his office. Klebnikov's murder came months after the magazine published a list of the 100 of the wealthiest people in Russia -- something The New York Times noted was extremely sensitive in the country. A Russian jury acquitted two men of the murder in 2007, but the investigation into the incident has been beset by problems. The murder remains unsolved.
Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter who was critical of Kremlin policies in Chechnya, was killed in her Moscow apartment building in 2006. Five men were sentenced for her murder in 2014, but critics say Russian authorities have deliberately not pushed to find the person who ordered the attacks.
Anastasiya Baburova and Stanislav Markelov
Baburova, a reporter, and Markelov, a human rights lawyer, were shot dead while walking together in downtown Moscow in the middle of the afternoon in 2009. Markelov had represented Politkovskaya, the journalist killed in 2006, and the two had represented Chechens whose relatives had disappeared, according to The Guardian. Baburova was a freelance reporter for Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper that is highly critical of Putin. Russia sentenced a neo-Nazi and his girlfriend for the murder in 2011 -- and the families of the victims said they were satisfied with the sentence.
The Russian billionaire who helped Putin rise to power was found dead in his home in England in 2013. Even though it was consistent with suicide by hanging, police couldn't entirely rule out other possible causes of death, including the involvement of a second party. Putin may have feared that Berezovsky, who fled Russia in 2000 and accused the Russian president of being "behind all the major events, major crimes in Russia," could have supported a potential political rival, global affairs professor Mark Galeotti told Bloomberg.
Once the richest man in Russia, Khodorkovsky is a prominent Putin critic who was imprisoned for 10 years in 2003 on tax fraud charges. Even though Putin pardoned him shortly before the Sochi Olympics, Russia requested an international arrest warrant for Khodorkovsky in December for the alleged murder of the mayor of a Siberian town.
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