Anthology of a slain journalist

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has helped launch a collection of articles by Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead outside her home last year.

A fierce critic of corruption and abuses within Russia, she died in an apparent contract killing last October. Politkovskaya was special correspondent for independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has produced the 980-page book.

At the launch, Gorbachev, who is co-owner of the newspaper, joined her colleagues and family in urging the crime be solved. The IHT quotes him as saying the case was especially important because much of Russian society thinks that law enforcement officials were involved in her killing.

Gorbachev held a copy of the book and suggested that while her writing was painful for some to read – it often accused government officials, soldiers and police officers of crimes – it was ultimately helpful to the Russian state. “It is bitter,” he said. “But it is a medicine.”

Kremlin officials boycotted the event, although they were invited to speak. The launch was not covered by any official news services.

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