Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya (1958 – 2006) was a Russian journalist and human rights activist who reported on political events in Russia, in particular, the Second Chechen War (1999–2005).
Her reporting from Chechnya earned Politkovskaya an international reputation. For seven years, she refused to give up reporting on the war despite numerous acts of intimidation and violence. Politkovskaya was arrested by Russian military forces in Chechnya and subjected to a mock execution. She was poisoned while flying from Moscow via Rostov-on-Don to help resolve the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis, and had to turn back, requiring careful medical treatment in Moscow to restore her health.
Politkovskaya's articles after 1999 about conditions in Chechnya were turned into books several times. The main access Russian readers had to her investigations and publications was through Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper that featured critical investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs and was shut down in March 2022 after the start of the war on Ukraine.
From 2000 onwards, Politkovskaya received numerous international awards for her work. In 2004, she published Putin's Russia, a personal account of Russia for a Western readership.
On 7 October 2006, she was murdered in the elevator of her block of flats, an assassination that attracted international attention. In June 2014, five men were sentenced to prison for the murder, but it is still unclear who ordered or paid for the contract killing.