“Last spring, I called for the resignation of the city’s leadership,” Mr. [Mikhail] Beketov [editor of Khimkinskaya Pravda] said in one of his final editorials. “A few days later, my automobile was blown up. What is next for me?”
Not long after, he was savagely beaten outside his home and left to bleed in the snow. His fingers were bashed, and three later had to be amputated, as if his assailants had sought to make sure that he would never write another word. He lost a leg. Now 52, he is in a wheelchair, his brain so damaged that he cannot utter a simple sentence.
The police promised a thorough investigation, but barely looked up from their desks.
Levy’s story ends with this, from a man who established a newspaper “to help continue Mr. Beketov’s work:”
“We used to have so many journalists here, but they have all suffered and have all given up. Only I remained, and now I am giving up.”Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.