Sergei Khadzhikurbanov, a former police officer, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He was released after fighting in Ukraine and receiving a presidential pardon.
Why it matters
The pardon of a convicted killer involved in the murder of a prominent journalist raises concerns about the Russian government's use of prisoners in the war in Ukraine and the potential for political manipulation.
What the papers say
The Moscow Times reports that Khadzhikurbanov was released after fighting in Ukraine and receiving a presidential pardon. The Times highlights the outrage expressed by Politkovskaya's family and colleagues over the decision to release her killer. The Independent discusses the practice of hiring prisoners to fight in Ukraine and the high-profile nature of this case. The New York Times emphasizes the significance of Politkovskaya's murder and the dangers faced by independent journalists in Russia. The NY Post provides details of Khadzhikurbanov's release and the condemnation from Politkovskaya's family and former employer. AP News reports on the presidential pardon and the background of Politkovskaya's murder. France 24 highlights the international attention and outcry following Politkovskaya's murder. The South China Morning Post discusses the Kremlin's acknowledgment of using prisoner recruits in Ukraine and the estimated number of prisoners involved. The Guardian reports on Khadzhikurbanov's pardon and the recruitment of prisoners to fight in Ukraine.
How we got here
Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent journalist critical of the Kremlin, was shot dead in 2006. The murder raised concerns about the dangers faced by independent journalists in Russia and the potential involvement of the Russian government. Khadzhikurbanov was one of five people convicted for their roles in the killing.
More on these topics
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Covering an area of 17,125,200 square kilometres, it is the largest country in the world by area, spanning more than one-eighth of the Earth's in
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east.
Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist, writer, and human rights activist who reported on political events in Russia, in particular, the Second Chechen War.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008.