On this side of the Atlantic, the apparent contract killing of Russian journalistÂ Anna Politkovskaya a few weeks ago has been big news. She has beenÂ consistently one of the strongest, and bravest, media critics of Putin and Russian policy. On the eve of publishing a big story about Chechnya, she was killed.
Much speculation about whether Putin himself had this done, or one of his enemies, to embarrass him. Russia’s that kind of place now, where there is so much atrocity happening, you can’t even tell which side it’s coming from.
Here’s a little connection to the Soviet past. Arvo PÃ¤rt, the Estonian composer whose 70th birthday concert series we went to see last year, is apparently dedicating all performances of his work this year to Politkovskaya’s memory. He knows a little about Russian repression, having fled the Soviet UnionÂ decades ago in order toÂ pursue his own artistic vision.Â Now, a little too much of same as it ever was….