Stanislav Markelov

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Stanislav Markelov
Stanislav Markelov.1974-2009.20071113.jpg
Stanislav Markelov at a Moscow seminar in Bilingua club on 13 November 2007
Stanislav Yuryevich Markelov

20 May 1974
Died19 January 2009(2009-01-19) (aged 34)
Moscow, Russia
OccupationHuman rights lawyer and journalist

Stanislav Yuryevich Markelov (Russian: Станисла́в Ю́рьевич Марке́лов, IPA: [stənʲɪˈslaf ˈjʉrʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mɐrˈkʲeləf]; 20 May 1974 – 19 January 2009) was a Russian human rights lawyer. He participated in a number of publicized cases, including those of left-wing political activists and antifascists persecuted since the 1990s, as well as journalists and victims of police violence.

Inter alia, Markelov had been the attorney for the family of Elza Kungaeva, a young Chechen woman killed by Russian colonel Yuri Budanov, who was released from prison in mid-January, 15 months before his original sentence was to end.

Markelov was murdered on 19 January 2009 in Moscow.


Markelov was a president of the Russian Rule of Law Institute.[1] He represented Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in Moscow in 2006; Mikhail Beketov, the editor of a pro-opposition newspaper who was severely beaten in November 2008; and many Chechen civilians who had been tortured. He also defended people who were victims of the Moscow theater hostage crisis.[2]


Markelov was shot to death on 19 January 2009 while leaving a news conference in Moscow less than 800 metres (12 mi) from the Kremlin; he was 34. Anastasia Baburova, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta who tried to come to Markelov's assistance, was also shot and killed in the attack.[3][4]


The BBC reported that Markelov planned to appeal the early release of Budanov. Budanov, sentenced to ten years in prison, was released early because he had "repented".[5] When reached for a comment, Budanov denounced the killings as a provocation aimed at fueling animosity between Russians and Chechens and offered condolences to the families of the deceased.[6]

According to Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, the details of the murder indicate the involvement of Russian state security services.[7] He stated:

In the opinion of the Novaya Gazeta staff, of which I am a member, the Russian security services or rogue elements within these services are the prime suspects in the murders of Baburova and Markelov. The boldness of the attack by a single gunman in broad daylight in the center of Moscow required professional preliminary planning and surveillance that would necessitate the security services, which closely control that particular neighborhood, turning a blind eye. The use of a gun with a silencer does not fit with the usual pattern of murders by nationalist neo-Nazi youth groups in Russia, which use homemade explosives, knives, and group assaults to beat up and stab opponents to death. The offices of Russia's rulers President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have not issued any statements expressing indignation or offering any condolences after the two murders. This follows the usual behavioral pattern of the authoritarian Putin regime when its critics are murdered in cold blood.[7]


The president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko sent a telegram to the parents of Anastasia Baburova on 23 January 2009.[8] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered his condolences six days later.[9][10][11]


Investigations by the radio station Echo of Moscow indicate that most people distrusted the authorities and thought they could not adequately investigate the murder and that the crimes would not be solved.[12] The distrust stimulated the wide discussion of the murder and protests.[weasel words][citation needed]


Close to 300 young people protested in Moscow with slogans such as "United Russia is a fascist country" and "Markelov will live forever".[13] More than 2,000 people took to the streets of Grozny.[14]

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International requested an impartial investigation.[15]

A hate crimes expert, Galina Kozhevnikova, said in February 2009 that she received an e-mailed threat warning her to "get ready" to join Markelov.[16]


In November 2009, Russian authorities declared the end of the criminal investigation. The murder suspects were 29-year-old Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Yevgenia Khasis, a radical nationalist couple involved with a group called Russky Obraz or Russian Image (Russian: Русский образ) and associated with the identitarian organization BORN (Battle Organization of Russian Nationalists) (Russian: Боевая организация русских националистов).[17][18] Initially, "Russkiy Obraz" was a magazine, set up by Tikhonov and his friend Ilya Goryachev in 2002 as a clone of the radical fascist Serbian "Image" (Russian: Сербское "Образ") formed by Mladen Obradovic (Russian: Младен Обрадович), Deacon Boban Milovanovic (Russian: диакон Бобан Милованович) and Alexander Mishich (Russian: Александр Мишич).[19][a] Both were students of history at Moscow State University.[23] According to Tikhonov, the identitarian organization BORN was founded by him and Goryachev in 2007.[24][25] According to both Khasis and Sergey Smirnov, Russky Obraz was the political roof for BORN similar to Sein Fein's relationship to the Irish Republican Army.[20][22][26][27] According to Khasis, Leonid Simunin was the BORN connection to the Kremlin and the presidential administration through Vladislav Surkov with a siloviki as the retired FSB officer Aleksey Korshunov (Russian: Алексей Коршунов) another strong supporter of BORN.[27][28]

According to investigators, Tikhonov was the one who committed the murder, while Khasis reported to him, by cell phone, the movements of Markelov and Baburova right before the assault. The motive of the murder was revenge for Markelov's prior work as a lawyer in the interests of Trotskyite activists. The murder suspects were arrested, and were reported to have confessed. In May 2011, Tikhonov was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Khasis was sentenced to 18 years in prison.[29]

FSB director Alexander Bortnikov reported to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the radical group in question committed a murder on ethnic grounds in September 2009 and was preparing another one.[citation needed]

In 2015, another member of the BORN nationalis group Ilya Goryachev was sentenced for murder of Markelov.[30]


  1. ^ In 2012, Russkiy Obraz became the "Right-wing Conservative Alliance" (Russian: "обновленная версия" – "Правоконсервативный альянс") or Right-Conservative Alliance (PKA) (Russian: «Право-Консервативного Альянса» (ПКА)) and stated that the former leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Šešelj (Serbian Cyrillic: Војислав Шешељ) is an honorary citizen of Moscow.[19][20] Both Anna Trigga, also known as Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva (Russian: Анна Владиславовна Богачева), who is indicted by the United States for her participation with the Internet Research Agency to interfere with the 2016 United States elections and convicted Russian spy Maria Butina were members of the Conservative Alliance.[21][22]


  1. ^ "President of the Rule of Law Institute". Rule of Law Institute. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009.
  2. ^ Anna Politkovskaya's lawyer Stanislav Markelov shot dead in Moscow Times Online
  3. ^ "Chechen Rights Lawyer and Journalist Shot in Moscow". The International Herald Tribune Retrieved 19 January 2009
  4. ^ Schwirtz, Michael (20 January 2009). "Leading Russian Rights Lawyer Is Shot to Death in Moscow, Along With Journalist". New York Times. Retrieved 23 January 2009. A prominent Russian lawyer who spent the better part of a decade pursuing contentious human rights and social justice cases was killed on Monday in a brazen daylight assassination in central Moscow, officials said. The lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, had just left a news conference where he announced that he would continue to fight against the early release from jail of Yuri D. Budanov, a former Russian tank commander imprisoned for murdering a young Chechen woman.
  5. ^ "Prominent Russian Lawyer Killed", BBC News (19 January 2009)
  6. ^ Nechaev, Aleksandr; Kachkaeva, Elina (20 January 2009). В центре Москвы расстреляли адвоката, выступавшего против освобождения Буданова. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b Pavel Felgenhauer (22 January 2009). "The Russian Security Services—The Prime Murder Suspect". Eurasia Daily Monitor. Archived from the original on 20 December 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  8. ^ Виктор Ющенко выразил соболезнования в связи с гибелью журналистки Анастасии Бабуровой, condolence message of the President of Ukraine (in Russian) (23 January 2009)
  9. ^ "Medvedev Expresses Condolences Over Journalist Slain in Moscow". Bloomberg. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  10. ^ Дмитрий Медведев сказал, почему не выразил соболезнования в связи с убийством Маркелова и Бабуровой (in Russian). Mideast. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  11. ^ Belton, Catherine (30 January 2009). "Medvedev sympathy for murdered activists signals break from past". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  12. ^ Будут ли найдены виновные в смерти Маркелова и Бабуровой Эхо Москвы, 25 January 2009,, (In Russian)
  13. ^ Анархисты все-таки прошли шествием по Москве, (20 January 2009)(in Russian)
  14. ^ Чеченцы хотят увековечить память убитого адвоката, (20 January 2009) (in Russian)
  15. ^ Правозащитники требуют расследования убийства Маркелова, (20 January 2009) (in Russian)
  16. ^ Activists: Russian reporters under neo-Nazi threat. The International Herald Tribune. 12 February 2009
  17. ^ "Russian neo-Nazi gets life sentence for murdering lawyer and journalist". 6 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Nationalist Suspected in High-Profile Killings Extradited". 11 November 2013.
  19. ^ a b Нэцин, Горан (Necin, Goran) (22 June 2012). "Шешель - почетный гражданин Москвы?" [Sheshel - an honorary citizen of Moscow?]. ИноСМИ (in Russian). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  20. ^ a b Смирнов, Сергей (Smirnov, Sergey) (3 May 2017). ""Открытая Россия" сотрудничала с бывшим главой организации "Русский образ". Чем известна эта организация? Рассказывает главный редактор "Медиазоны" Сергей Смирнов" [Open Russia collaborated with the former head of the Russian Image organization. What is this organization known for? Says the editor-in-chief of "Mediazones" Sergey Smirnov]. Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Журнал непрерывного отжига и ковки. Здесь куется наша победа. - Очередное заседание Консервативного клуба" [Journal of continuous annealing and forging. Here our victory is forged. - The next meeting of the Conservative Club]. Консервативного клуба (Conservative Club) (in Russian). 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  22. ^ a b Крутов, Марк; Добрынин, Сергей; Литой, Александр (2 October 2019). ""Русский образ" Пригожина" ["Russian image" Prigogine]. Svoboda (in Russian). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Stanislav Markelov and anarchists". 26 January 2009.
  24. ^ "Russian neo-Nazi Ilya Goryachev was jailed for life for a string of hate killings in Russia". 29 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Leader of "Kremlin project" found guilty of ultranationalist BORN murders". 15 July 2015.
  26. ^ "Дело БОРН. Допрос неонацистки Хасис" [BORN case. Interrogation of neo-Nazi Khasis]. «Медиазона» (MediaZona) (in Russian). 20 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  27. ^ a b Васюнин, Илья (Vasyunin, Ilya) (28 February 2014). "АРХИВ. Интервью с Леонидом Симуниным, которого Евгения Хасис назвала куратором БОРНа из Кремля" [ARCHIVE. Interview with Leonid Simunin, whom Yevgenia Khasis called the BORN curator from the Kremlin.]. Dozhd (in Russian). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  28. ^ Козенко, Андрей (Kozenko, Andrey) (20 November 2014). ""Я была его женщиной. У меня автомат под подушкой хранился" Евгения Хасис дала показания по делу БОРНа" ["I was his woman. I had a machine under my pillow. "Evgenia Khasis testified in the BORN case]. Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Nikita Tikhonov And Yevgenia Khasis, Russian Nationalists, Sentenced For Killing Human Rights Lawyer, Journalist". Huffington Post, 6 May 2011. 6 May 2011.
  30. ^ "Leader of "Kremlin project" found guilty of ultranationalist BORN murders ::". Retrieved 17 July 2015.

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