Anna Politkovskaya, the daughter of Soviet UN diplomats, was born in New York in 1958. She studied Journalism at Moscow University and worked for various newspapers such as »Izvestia« and after the fall of Communism for independent papers, among them »Obchtchaya Gazeta«. Most recently she was a special correspondent for the small opposition paper »Novaya Gazeta«. Her reportages were collected in many books, among them »A Small Corner of Hell«. Her last book was a detailed and emotional presentation of the current Russian reality. However »Putin’s Russia« was only published in Western foreign countries.
Politkovskaya was awarded mostly foreign prizes for her work. She received the »Lettre Ulysses Award« for best reportage and the Hermann Kesten Medal in 2003. She was honoured with the Olof Palme Prize in 2004, and in the following year she was awarded the »Prize for Freedom and Future of the Media«. In her native country, however, she faced threats and intimidation. Yet she refused to have a bodyguard in the same way she refused to go into exile. In 2004 she was the victim of a poisoning attempt. On October 7, 2006 she was shot by an unknown gunman in the stairwell of her Moscow apartment block.
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