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Anna and Alexander

There are critical differences between the killings of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya

By Thomas de Waal   January 2007

Like many others who knew her, I was devastated by the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Russia’s bravest human rights journalist. Now my dismay is compounded by the way her death has been subsumed in the disturbing but much murkier story of the death of Alexander Litvinenko. They are two very different stories—even if they suggest similar truths about today’s Russia.

The boyish features of Litvinenko were a fixture in London meetings and events about Russia over the last few years. He was undoubtedly a brave man, but I tended to avoid him because he was the protégé of a man…

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