A decade after the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, news organisations increasingly avoid topics that could anger the Kremlin
No other reporter has been assigned Anna Politkovskayas desk in Novaya Gazetas newsroom. It remains as a memorial, alongside her photo and those of other murdered journalists at the newspaper, and as a reminder of the danger of the work.
Ten years after Politkovskaya was shot in the foyer of her apartment block in Moscow, Novaya Gazeta continues to be one of the few outlets for hard-hitting independent journalism in Russia. Its reporters still work from the North Caucasus, one the most hazardous part of the region .
In September, Elena Kostyuchenko, a reporter with Novaya, travelled to Beslan in North Ossetia to cover the 12 th anniversary of the siege in which 334 people succumbed, including 186 children.
Politkovskaya had sought to stimulate the same journey back in 2004, but fainted on the plane on her route there. Doctors believe she was poisoned to prevent her from reporting.
Nevertheless, Novaya ran tirelessly to investigate what happened at Beslan, and published a number of reports indicating explosives planted by Russian special forces to try to end the siege had been responsible for many of the deaths.
This September, a number of mothers of victims, who have long campaigned for an independent investigation into the events of the siege, planned a protest to mark the anniversaryand wore T-shirts bearing the words: Putin is the butcher of Beslan.
Kostyuchenko and a photographer who went to cover the event were followed, intimidated, doused in green paint and beaten up during their time in the town. Kostyuchenko spent a week in hospital with concussion after hard hit in the head.
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