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 Sergei Mitrokhin: Putin must make them investigate the Mikhail Beketov case

Press Release

April 11, 2013

Civil funeral service in memory of journalist and public activist Mikhail Beketov took place at the House of Journalists today. Mikhail Beketov was a Russian journalist who combated against crime and corruption in the city of Khimki (including defence of Khimki Forest which had to be cut due the construction of the MoscowSaint Petersburg highway).

Beketov was attacked and severely injured by unidentified persons in 2008. As a result his leg and fingers on the left hand were amputated, he lost speech and became handicapped. The attackers have not been found. He died in hospital of complications due to brain damage at the age of 55 on 8 April 2013.

Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, Editor-in-Chief of oppositional Novaya Gazeta Dmitry Muratov, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the Khimki Forest Movement Yevgenia Chirikova, journalists Yevgenia Albats and Oleg Kozyrev, and other well-known journalists, politicians, public figures and citizens of the Khimki city came to pay tribute to Mikhail Beketov. Vsevolod Bogdanov, head of the Russian Journalists Union, read out the telegram of condolence from President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

I have to question myself: do we really need a Sherlock Holmes to investigate this case? Is the circle of suspects so wide that it takes so much time to investigate the case? However, the circle of possible perpetrators is narrow and the circle of those who ordered this crime is even narrower. This makes me suspect that the reason is not the incompetence of the authorities, but something else, said Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin.

Vladimir Lukin, Russia's Ombudsman

The Ombudsman recalled that the murder of another outstanding journalist Yuri Shekochikhin had not been investigated properly.


Mikhail Beketov struggled face to face against the crime in Khimki, and there are a few people like him, however, there are a lot of journalists among these few. This list [of murdered journalists] coincides with the list of unsolved murders. The investigators know the name of the person who ordered this crime, but there is no will so that to bring this person to justice. The tragedy of our country is that outright criminals are in power now. Mikhail stood in their way and was murdered. President Putin should have sent not only his condolences, but had to keep up his promise and take the case under his control. What else but death can become a reason for this? May the memory to a great person Mikhail Beketov live forever, said Sergei Mitrokhin.

Sergei Mitrokhin

Yevgenia Chirikova said that Mikhail Beketov had been the first to agree to meet her and write about cutting of Khimky forest. She is a witness in the Beketov case and told that Mikhail had known about the planned assassination. He had even carried a traumatic gun before the attack. He had told his friends that if something happened to him, the trace could be found in the Khimki Administration.

Yevgenia Chirikova thanked Sergei Mitrokhin, who had helped to transport Mikhail Beketov from the hospital in Khimki where he had been slowly dying to the Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine, and this prolonged Mikhails life for a few years. Chirikova also thanked Elena Kostuchenko, who had donated her blood to Mikhail Beketov and had been supporting him during his last years.

Yevgenia Chirikova

All those present at the ceremony could not hide their tears.

See also:

Human Rights

Freedom of Speech


Press Release

April 11, 2013

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