Occupational Hazards

From the terrific Masha Gessen in Reuters.

A large number of Russian journalists and activists have long been outside the protection of the law. These people are easy to identify. They are the subjects of pseudo-investigative exposes on state television, as, for example, was victims’ rights advocate and blogger Marina Litvinovich, who was beaten unconscious in Central Moscow in March of 2006.

They are the ones whose names are on any number of hit lists circulated by Kremlin-funded bloggers, as was Kashin’s name. The lists include ones such as “Journalist Traitors Must Be Punished” that get posted on the Molodaya Gvardiya web site. My name has been on those lists, too. Most recently, I believe, on one titled “They Must Be Nailed to the Pole of Shame.” But that was a few years back, I reassured myself.

I knew that come morning journalist organizations, human rights groups, and probably the State Department would appeal to the Russian government to find the people behind the brutal attack on Kashin. But come that morning none of those organizations would dare say the truth: the people behind the attack ARE the Russian government. It is the Kremlin that has long since declared open season on a number of Russian citizens. Kashin and I are just one of many.