I feel like I have a much better understanding of what is happening in modern day Russian politics having read this book. She paid with her life......She wasn't bitter that the West turned/is turning a blind eye to the lack of freedom in Russia, rather she felt that until the Russian people stand up for their rights, this injustice will continue.
While reading this book, you already know that Anna was gunned-down in her apartment building. The closer you creep to the end of the book, the more you want to go back in time and warn Anna to leave! She wasn't willing to quiet up or go away.
I expect little has changed since Anna Politkovskaya wrote about the extent of the corruption, and the bullying, that was, when she wrote for the newspaper Novaya gazeta, an everyday feature of Putin's Russia.
In trying to describe this book and the work of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the first thing that came to my mind was the words of poet Dylan Thomas. Watching Russias barely-worthy-of-the-term democracy steadily crumble, Politkovskaya stubbornly refused to let it go gentle into that good night. It is a brilliant and sobering piece of work that should be required reading for anyone with an interest in current world politics, and for anyone who believes in the critical role of a free press in keeping governments honest. Politkovskaya takes your breath away with her unblinking look at the many, many wrongs of Russian politics and society, and with her determination to continue to expose all she can, albeit at tremendous risk to herself. For those who dont follow world politics or who don't know much about Russia, a brief introduction may be in order. Former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin enjoys support within Russia and stature amongst leaders internationally, but it is also well known that the life-long KGB man (who later headed the Federal Security Bureau, successor to the KGB) rules in a way that echoes darker times in Russias past. No matter how much you know about Russia and its recent history, though, A Russian Diary is sure to be an eye-opener. The book, covering the period from the Russian parliamentary elections in late 2003 until the end of 2005, is Politkovskayas diary-style reflection on contemporary events in Russia as they happened. (She also includes additional commentary for context or when later events clarify earlier events.) This period sees the solidification of Vladimir Putins strong-armed rule; ongoing human rights abuses in Chechnya and other southern territories; the stifling and gradual cooptation of human rights activists by the Putin government; the continuing impoverishment of the population throughout Russia, and especially in the smaller villages and peripheral provinces; and a devastating number of deadly terrorist attacks, including, most tragically, the September 2004 siege of an elementary school in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia. From the outset, when the pro-Putin United Russia party sweeps to power in the Duma (the Russian parliament), it seems Putin is fated to win re-election to a second term as president, and the parties of Russias democrats seem completely unable and/or unwilling to do anything other than squabble amongst themselves. Politkovskaya paints a portrait of Russia as a place where only power and influence and money speak and money only sometimes. The second question is, what are the democratic governments of the West doing, carrying on relations with Putins Russia as if it were a normal country? Human rights forces continue to face pressure and opposition (a few years ago, the Moscow office of the international organization I worked for had to go through a confounding process of re-registration suddenly required for all human rights organizations operating in Russia). As I mentioned at the outset, A Russian Diary should be required reading for anyone with an interest in current world politics. The lack of an adequate press in Russia has to be included among the reasons for its current condition, and Politkovskayas book shows how desperately a strong, free press is needed. While successive waves of formerly opposition politicians erstwhile champions of democracy gave in to political pressure to join the pro-Putin choir, and other journalists and news outlets self-censored and shrank away from reporting facts uncomfortable to the Putin administration, Anna Politkovskaya relentlessly continued to pull back the curtain on the Great and Powerful Oz every chance she got. 110: Politkovskaya published frames a from a video made by a Russian soldier in Chechnya in 2000, showing Russian soldiers tormenting a group of prisoners of war they had already beaten horribly.: "What happened when the frames from this record of our own Abu Ghraib were published? 184: "People didnt elect Yeltsin in 1996 because they believed in his prescription for taking the country forward, but because they feared what might happen if the Communists got back in.
If you were born a human being, you cannot behave like a mushroom." Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment building in 2006. Politkovskaya's contempt for Putin and his sycophants is clear throughout but even more so is her disgust with everyday Russians who refuse to stand up and take back their country.
Unbelieveable, the extreme that the russian people live under. It also covers the period of time during the Beslan school massacre. With such power and wealth, what have the russian leaders done?
Russian journalist and human rights activist well-known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and Russian president Putin.