Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya (Russian: А́нна Степа́новна Политко́вская; 30 August 1958 – 7 October 2006) was a Russian journalist, author and human rights activist well known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and then-Russian President Vladimir Putin. On 2006-10-07, she was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building, an unresolved assassination that continues to attract international attention.
Politkovskaya made her name reporting from Chechnya. She was arrested and subjected to mock execution by Russian military forces there and poisoned on the way to participate in negotiations during the Beslan school hostage crisis, but survived and continued her reporting. She authored several books about the Chechen wars, as well as Putin's Russia, and received numerous prestigious international awards for her work.
Politkovskaya was born Anna Mazepa in New York City in 1958 to Soviet Ukrainian parents, both of whom served as diplomats to the United Nations. She grew up in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow State University Department of Journalism in 1980. She defended a thesis about the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva. Politkovskaya was a citizen of both the United States of America and the Russian Federation.