Novaya Gazeta is no stranger to hostility and controversy. The crusading Russian newspaper is known for powerful investigations — and in Russia, this sort of work can provoke an angry reaction. The paper’s star reporter Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in her apartment building in 2006. Exactly who ordered her murder has never been confirmed.
Even so, the wave of threats now being made against the paper and its reporters comes as a shock even to those who work there. This week, the newspaper put out a statement that warned religious leaders in the Russian republic of Chechnya were attempting to incite people to “massacre journalists” after a meeting in a Grozny mosque on April 3. …
This backlash had been sparked by an April 1 story from reporter Elena Milashina and her colleague Irina Gordienko. In March, Milashina had discovered evidence that gay men were being detained, tortured and even killed in an anti-homosexual purge in Chechnya.
After spending weeks checking the story with her sources, Milashina says they could confirm that hundreds of people had been detained; at least three are now thought to have died.
Learn how to help persecuted Chechens at Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.