The continual attacks on human rights activists in Russia raises questions as to whether there is anyone in charge of the country who has the slightest interests in protecting the innocent from criminals. The murder of Ntalya Estemirova, a prominent fighter for human rights, makes clear that forces of oppression understand they can kill without fear of being caught, let alone tried for a crime. There is evidence the Chechen government of Ramzan Kadynov encourages attacks on those who dare raise questions about the deaths of those who oppose the little tyrant of Chechen. As mourners gathered to pay tribute to the woman who has stood up to Prime Minister Putin and his coterie of thugs, many shouted, “who is next?” A few weeks ago it was Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who fought for human rights and is now dead at the hands of criminal assassins.
Her murder took place in the middle of the day when four men grabbed her as she entered her apartment, and threw her into a car, drove seventy miles and then dumped her body by the side of the road. It is clear they did not fear being captured or brought to justice. After all, this is Putin, Russia, in the year 2009.
President Medvedev told visiting President Obama he was committed to the rule of law. Russians who seek democracy and justice wait expectantly for Medvedev to assert his independence and end the Putin rule of violence.