The names Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova will be familiar to most people in Britain. The murders of the journalist and the human rights campaigner have become symbols of the repression of free speech in Russia and the perhaps wilful ineptitude of the organisations charged with bringing their killers to justice.
Less familiar to a western audience are the names of Andrei Kozlov and Eduard Chuvashov, but they too are victims of the same style of gangland assassination that silenced Politkovskaya and Estemirova.
Although neither Koslov nor Chuvashov were outspoken in their approach, both men were playing significant roles in the campaign to root out corruption and enforce the rule of law in Russia. That they would be lucky to make the “news in brief” sections of our supposedly independent news coverage begs some significant questions over our motives.
On 13th September 2006 Kozlov, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank, was leaving the stadium of Spartak football club where he had been playing soccer with other central bank employees. As he was getting into his car he was approached by two men. They fired a number of shots, mortally wounding Kozlov and killing his driver.