Putin pardons killer of Anna Politkovskaya because he fought in Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin has shockingly pardoned a former cop who was convicted for the murder of a leading Kremlin critic.

The move is seen as a twisted 'gift' to the Russian leader because Sergei Khadzhikurbanov fought in Russia's illegal war against Ukraine.

Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent journalist and fierce critic of Putin, was gunned down in her apartment block on Putin's birthday in 2006. Her death sparked international outrage and is one of several high-profile murders of Putin critics.

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She was brutally murdered in a lift as she clutched at her groceries on the way back from going to the shop.

Despite being sentenced until 2034, Khadzhikurbanov was released early in 2022 to participate in Putin's war, where he quickly rose to the rank of a frontline battalion commander.

The mastermind behind Politkovskaya's murder remains unknown, with suspicions pointing towards Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his top henchmen.

The journalist had made several powerful enemies throughout the Russian state through her stories writing about high-level corruption and atrocities committed during the war in Chechnya.

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After half a year, Putin pardoned him and wiped his murder conviction clean. He's still a commander with Russian forces in Ukraine.

Politkovskaya's family slammed the decision to let the killer go free in a statement from her newspaper Novaya Gazeta. "For us, this pardon is not evidence of the redemption and remorse of the murderer," they expressed.

Natalya Estemirova carried on her work on Chechnya but was killed three years later.

Putin has set free thousands of murderers, rapists and other hardened criminals to fight in Ukraine, promising them a full pardon if they survive six months in his brutal war.

* This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

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