Firmly based on the impressive work of Russia’s two media monitors, the Glasnost Defense Foundation and the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, this database details when, where and how so many journalists and media workers have died or gone missing. The deaths from armed conflict, street crime, contract killings, domestic disputes and Russia’s lethal roads are a shocking illustration of the violent environment shared with the rest of society since the early 1990s. Among the many causes of death, murders account for 152 fatalities.
For years the response from the Russian law-enforcement agencies has been inadequate. Investigations into murders of journalists have led to only 35 court cases (and 29 convictions). No information is to be had from police or prosecutors concerning over fifty other shootings, beatings and stabbings. There is an evident climate of impunity surrounding the cases where a journalist was killed for his or her professional activities. Investigations of the forty killings in this category have led to only three convictions.
The database includes reports from over 90 locations across the Russian Federation. In some places, the murder was an exceptional event. Moscow is the capital of the country for killing journalists, with 33 murders and a very low clear-up rate though the headquarters of every law-enforcement agency in Russia are based there. The list of Moscow killings began with Dima Kholodov in 1994 and reached a new level with the shooting of Anna Politkovskaya in October 2006. It was her murder, which prompted the compilation of this new database.