Sakset/Fra hofta

Anna Politkovskaja beskrev hvordan det russiske demokratiet døde foran øynene hennes. Putin er mer opptatt av labradorhvalpene sine enn ofrene for en terrorhandling. I Moskva dukker det opp avkuttede hoder, og opposisjonskandidater får avskårne ører og et hjerte kastet inn gjennom vinduet.

Alt er mulig i Putins Russland, selv om utlandet later som om forholdene er normale.

Dagen etter Duma-valget i desember 2003, skriver Politkovskaja nekrologen:

Were we seeing a crisis of Russian parliamentary democracy in the Putin era? No, we were witnessing its death. In the first place, the legislative and executive branches of government had merged and this had meant the rebirth of the Soviet system. The Duma was purely decorative, a forum for rubber-stamping Putin’s decisions.

In the second place the Russian people gave its consent. There were no demonstrations. The electorate agreed to be treated like an idiot. The electorate said let’s go back to the USSR – slightly retouched and slicked up, modernised, but the good old Soviet Union, now with bureaucratic capitalism where the state official is the main oligarch, vastly richer than any capitalist. The corollary was that, if we were going back to the USSR, Putin was going to win in March 2004. It was a foregone conclusion.

Ritual murders are taking place in Moscow. A second severed head has been found in the past 24 hours, this time in the eastern district of Golianovo. It was in a rubbish container. Yesterday evening, a head in a plastic bag was found on a table in the courtyard on Krasnoyarskaya Street.

Both men had been dead for 24 hours. The circumstances are almost identical: the victims are from the Caucasus, aged 30-40 and have dark hair. Their identities are unknown. Such are the results of racist propaganda in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. Our people are very susceptible and react promptly.

Well, so he’s been elected. By and large, the concept of ruling the country by the same methods used in conducting the «anti-terrorist operation» has been vindicated: L’Etat, c’est Putin.

In St Petersburg, skinheads have stabbed to death nine-year-old Khursheda Sultanova in the courtyard of the flats where her family lived. Her father, 35-year-old Yusuf Sultanov, a Tadjik, has been working in St Petersburg for many years. That evening he was bringing the children back from the Yusupov Park ice slope when some aggressive youths started following them.

In a dark connecting courtyard leading to their home the youths attacked them. Khursheda suffered 11 stab wounds and died immediately. Yusuf’s 11-year-old nephew, Alabir, escaped in the darkness by hiding under a parked car. Alabir says the skinheads kept stabbing Khursheda until they were certain she was dead. They were shouting, «Russia for the Russians!» The Sultanovs are not illegal immigrants. They are officially registered as citizens of St Petersburg, but fascists are not interested in ID cards. When Russia’s leaders indulge in soundbites about cracking down on immigrants and guest labourers, they incur the responsibility for tragedies such as this.

Fifteen people were detained shortly afterwards, but released. Many turned out to be the offspring of people employed by the law-enforcement agencies of St Petersburg. Today, 20,000 St Petersburg youths belong to unofficial fascist or racist organisations. The St Petersburg skinheads are among the most active in the country and are constantly attacking Azerbaijanis, Chinese and Africans. Nobody is ever punished, because the law-enforcement agencies are themselves infected with racism. You have only to switch off your audio recorder for the militia to start telling you they understand the skinheads, and as for those blacks … etc, etc. Fascism is in fashion.

De sterke tekstene forklarer kanskje hvorfor man i Vesten holdt en viss avstand til Politkovskaja. Det hun påsto var for sterkt til at man ville ta det inn over seg. Det ville bli umulig å samarbeide med Kreml, med et slikt utgangspunkt. I stedet valgte man å ivareta sine «interesser».

‘Fascism is in fashion’

Murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya was fearless in her pursuit of truth. In this shocking extract from her final book, she chronicles the death of Russian democracy