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The Murder of Larissa Yudina. Chronicle of Events.
Press Releases

The murder of Larissa Yudina is still uninvestigated

Statement by the YABLOKO party, October 22, 2010

Today our friend, journalist and editor of the Sovetskaya Kalmykia Today paper Larisa Yudina would have turned 65.

She was killed on June 7, 1998. The perpetrators and the organiser of this murder – S.Vaskin who had had several criminal records and served as Legal Advisor to the President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, were found and convicted.

However, the person who ordered the murder has not been named yet, in spite of the fact that the investigation knows his name...

A party in memory of Larissa Yudina to take place in YABLOKO’s office

Press Release, October 20, 2010

On October 22, the birthday of Larissa Yudina, Editor-in-Chief of Sovietskaya Kalmykia newspaper, murdered in July 1998, the YABLOKO party will conduct a party in her memory. The party is devoted not only to Larissa Yudina, but to all the journalists who died implementing their work...

Open letter to the delegates of the General Assembly of the 81st FIDE Congress

September 20, 2010.

...Election of FIDE President is to take place on September 29. The current FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov are competing for this post.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO appeals to you so that to prevent reelection of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, one of the most disgraceful figures in Russian politics, to the post of FIDE President.

YABLOKO has always regarded Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's regime set in the Republic of Kalmykia, uncontrollably governed by Ilyumzhinov for 17 years, as one of the ugliest manifestations in Russia’s political history of the past two decades presenting a merger of authoritarian rule, corruption and crime.

Larissa Yudina, Chair of the Kalmykia regional branch of YABLOKO, paid with her life in 1998 for the fight against this regime, and Ilyumzhinov's aid was convicted for committing this murder. In our view, responsibility for this crime lies entirely with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov...

Action in memory of Larissa Yudina took place by Representation of the Republic of Kalmykia in Moscow

Press Release, June 7, 2010

Today, on June 7, on the tragic anniversary of the murder of leader of Kalmyk YABLOKO and oppositional journalist Larissa Yudina took place by Representation of the Republic of Kalmykia in Moscow. The participants of the action demanded to release the names of those who ordered the murder of Larissa Yudina, who, according to YABLOKO’s data, were determined by the investigation. “We can not rule out that [President of the Republic] Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was the one who personally ordered the murder,” Sergei Mitrokhin said at the picket.

Today it is the 12th anniversary since the murder of Larissa Yudina, the leader of Kalmyk YABLOKO, editor-in-chief of Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya and main opponent of the President of the Republic Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. On this day YABLOKO’s activists brought portraits of their murdered colleague and lit candles by the Representation of the Republic of Kalmykia in Moscow...

Mitrokhin promised that YABLOKO will hold the action by Representation of the Republic of Kalmykia every year until those who ordered the murder are punished.

Nomination of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s candidacy by the Russian Chess Federation to the post of FIDE President means a disgrace for Russia

Decision of YABLOKO’s Bureau from May 22, 2010. May 31, 2010

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO has already made several statements that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s regime in the Republic of Kalmykia is one of the ugliest developments in Russia’s political history of the past two decades representing a disgusting mixture of authoritarian rule, corruption and criminal.

Fight against this regime has in 1998 taken the life of Larissa Yudina, Chair of the Kalmyk regional branch of YABLOKO, and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s aid was found guilty of this murder. The political responsibility for this crime lies, in our view, completely on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov...

President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is reminded of the murder of Larissa Yudina

Press Release, May 26, 2010

Activists from the Youth YABLOKO were waiting for President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov be the entrance to the office of the Echo Moskvi radio station so that to remind him of the murder of Larissa Yudina, a journalist and leader of the Kalmykia branch of YABLOKO, killed 12 years ago... Larissa Yudina, the leader of Kalmyk YABLOKO and Editor-in-Chief of oppositional Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya paper, was murdered 12 years ago on June 7, 1998. The official investigation does not name the person who ordered this crime, however, they obviously know this person. The question about Ilyumzhinov’s personal involvement in the crime is still open, as the organiser of the murder S.Vaskin (a person with repeated convictions) was Ilyumzhinov’s Legal Advisor...

“The person who ordered the murder of Larissa Yudina and all the people involved in this crime should not avoid punishment. The goal of objective investigation should be suspend the proxy of Ilyumzhinov as President of Kalmykia,” runs the statement by YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin.

Murder of journalist Larissa Yudina in Kalmykia: four years later…
Press Release, June 7, 2002
June 7 is a tragic date in the history of Russian journalism. Four years ago on this day Larissa Yudina, Editor-in-Chief of the "Soviet Kalmykia Today" newspaper, member of the Kalmyk regional branch of YABLOKO, was brutally murdered in Elista. She died from at the hands of murderers, while performing her journalist duty fighting corruption in the republic.


Action in memory of Larissa Yudina

Moscow, entrance to the Federation Council.
Photos by Olga Shweitzer.
June 7, 2002.


On Monday October 22, 2001, a ceremony of granting awards to the winners and laureates of the All-Russia Contest of Regional Journalists "Against All Odds" took place in Moscow
Press release, October 22, 2001


Grigory Yavlinsky requests President’s assistance in punishing the people behind the contract killing of Larissa Yudina

Press Release 12.09.2000


Yabloko thinks that granting Larissa Yudina the Order of Courage should not mean that the criminal investigation of her murder is stopped

Press Release 11.09.2000


President of Russia grants Order of Courage (post-mortem) to journalist Larissa Yudina

Press Release 11.09.2000


Deadly costs of journalism
By Seamus Martin, Baltimore Sun, December 15, 2003

While conspiracy theories abound in Russia, it is not difficult to understand the suspicions about Shchekochikhin's death. Strange things have happened to journalists from Novaya Gazeta and members and supporters of Yabloko.


Courageous Pen
Transcript by Nadezhda Prusenkova, Novaya Gazeta, October 13, 2003

The more principles a person has in life, the more obstacles and problems there are in his life and the more strength he needs not to break down.


Investigation of the Murder of Larissa Yudina Should Continue
Statement, June 6, 2003

The contract killers and organizers of organised the murder are still free. At the same time the investigation organised by YABLOKO and conducted by highly qualified lawyers demonstrated that the facts and witnesses' evidences are more than enough to achieve their conviction.


Kirsan Iloumjinov
Reporters Without Borders, September 2001 (archive)

Those who ordered the June 1998 kidnapping and murder of journalist Larissa Yudina, editor the opposition newspaper Sovietskaya Kalmykia Sevodnia, are still free.


Larissa Yudina,
INTERNATIONAL PEN, WOMEN'S DAY- MARCH 8, 2003 Impunity and Freedom of Expression. Join the campaign!

Paper Survives Threats, Murder, Success
Vladimir Filonov The Moscow Times, By Natalia Yefimova, November 14, 2002

ELISTA, Kalmykia -- For a tiny opposition newspaper in an autocratic republic, Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya has survived a great deal: a shutout by local printers and distributors, threats, arson and, most harrowing of all, the brutal murder in 1998 of editor Larisa Yudina.

A Tale of 2 Liberal Parties and 2 Contests
By Andrei Zolotov Jr., The Moscow Times, October 25, 2001, page 1


Larisa Yudina
By Susan Vollmer, http://www.fallenmartyrs.com/russia.htm
In a country that's suppose to be undergoing democratic reforms, Russia is missing out on one of the most important freedoms—freedom of the press.


The Kirsan saga
Why the Kremlin can't do anything about President Iliumzhinov of Kalmykia
By Inessa Slavutinskaya, Profil, No. 25, July 2, 2001, pp. 12-15
The Auditing Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin suffered a crushing defeat on June 22. The team of auditors he had sent to Kalmykia (in part, with the goal of proving misuse of state funds by President Kirsan Iliumzhinov) did find some infractions - but these were so small that they can be handled within standard procedures. This means that the expected major criminal charges in Kalmykia are unlikely to materialize.


IN BRIEF: Slain Reporter Honored


Tuesday, September 12, 2000

MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin decorated a slain journalist with the order of courage Monday for her brave conduct in the line of duty, Interfax reported.


The Yudina Case

Her Killers have been Convicted, but Questions Remain.


December 6, 1999

The Supreme Court of Kalmykia sentenced the killers of editor-in-chief of the newspaper Sovetskaya Kalmykiya segodnya (Soviet Kalmykia Today) Larisa Yudina on November 29 in Elista.


Killing the Messenger

The last interview with a murdered publisher

Columbia Journalism Review, by Eve Conant,

September/October 1998


Russia: Journalist's Murder Bring Allegations Of Political Motives

Radio Liberty

By Floriana Fossato

June 10, 1998

Moscow, 10 June 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Larisa Yudina, an opposition journalist and political activist, was murdered last weekend in Russia's southern autonomous republic of Kalmykia. No killer has been found, but Moscow media, some politicians and human rights organizations allege that the murder might have been politically motivated.

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