Sudden Putin Death Syndrome
Let's just say I have my theories about this one:
Natalya Estemirova, who won numerous international awards for her work, was bundled into a car as she left her home in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Her body was later found by the side of a road in the neighbouring province of Ingushetia. She had been shot twice in the head at close range.Putin involved? Nahh, couldn't be. He would be that obvious, would he?
Mrs Estemirova, a single mother in her early 40s, was the seventh opponent of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed Chechen president, to have been murdered in the past 10 months.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was said to have been "indignant" over the killing but there was no response from Mr Putin, the prime minister, who appointed Mr Kadyrov to restore order in the troubled republic. Mr Putin was criticised in 2006 after he remained silent for three days following the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who campaigned on injustices in Chechnya.
Mr Kadyrov has denied accusations that he ordered the killing of Mrs Politkovskaya, insisting that he did not "kill women".
In the past 10 months many of his rivals have been found dead after killings in Vienna, Istanbul, Dubai and Moscow.
Although she was not a political rival, Mrs Estemirova was one of the few figures in Russia who dared to expose abuses in Chechnya.
Hours before she died, activists held a press conference that called for Mr Putin's prosecution before an international criminal court.