From Anna Politkovskaya to Prigozhin, passing through Boris Nemtsov. Here are all the enemies eliminated by Putin


By John

This time Vladimir Putin has decided to show all his power to get rid of yet another internal enemy. The plane he was traveling on Yevgney Prigozhin was shot down while flying between Moscow and St. Petersburg, exactly two months after the Wagner chief announced the march on Moscow. His right-hand man Dmitry Utkin also died with him. A demonstration of force to cut off the head of the militia that has most, in recent months, undermined the power of the Kremlin, often garnering much support.

He is not the first opponent and, probably, he will not be the last to fall under the tsar’s ax: since he became president, this is the fate that awaits those who disagree with him or, worse still, are opposed to him. opposes. A violent death also befell a Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister, killed at the age of 55 in 2015 with a gunshot as he walked on a bridge in Moscow right near the Kremlin. Nemtsov paid dearly for criticism of the unilateral annexation of Crimea in 2014. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was also accused of connivance in his death, who obviously denied the allegations. In 2006 Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned instead, a former KGB officer turned British citizen and opponent of the Russian president. Polonium was used to kill him in a London hotel where he had met two men: the former spy died weeks later in excruciating suffering. But there are not only political opponents or former spies among the Kremlin’s victims. Journalists are also on the list. On October 7, 2006 it was the masterpiece ‘Putin’s Russia’ that marked the death sentence of the Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya, killed in front of her home in Moscow on the Russian leader’s birthday. Her fault was to criticize the Russian handling of the situation in Chechnya. The Russian judiciary investigated Boris Berezovsky: on 23 March 2013 the oligarch was found hanged at his home in Sunninghill (United Kingdom), but the English judges were unable to establish whether it was actually suicide. After Politkovskaya, the Kremlin also silenced another Novaya Gazeta contributor, Anastasia Baburovamurdered in January 2009 together with the human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov while they were on the streets of Moscow.

Then there are those the Kremlin would not have been able to kill. As Alexei Navalny, imprisoned for two years and recently sentenced to nineteen for “extremism”. Navalny was poisoned for the first time in 2020 with the nerve agent novichok – Western intelligence has pointed the finger at the Russian services – but his loyalists swear that he is now undergoing the same treatment behind bars through a slow-release substance inserted into the food. Anyone who is not in prison or has not been killed has fled or self-exiled abroad. Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and TV presenter Maxim Galkin are among them. Khodorkovsky lives in London after serving 10 years in prison and now finances media projects critical of the Kremlin. Galkin, husband of Russian pop icon Alla Pugacheva, lives in Israel and has become one of the voices against the Ukrainian offensive on social media. He is considered by Moscow «a foreign agent», like all those who do not think like the Kremlin.