President Dmitry Medvedev was elected last year after vowing to fight what he called the "legal nihilism" that infects Russia. But he has not been able to halt the killing of activists and those who criticize government officials.
Last month, a gunman with a silencer shot and killed a prominent human rights lawyer who often clashed with authorities, as well as a young investigative journalist working for Novaya Gazeta, the same newspaper where Politkovskaya worked.
Masha Lipman of the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank says the Kremlin has done too little to discourage these apparently political slayings.
"The leadership should be held responsible for the atmosphere of lawlessness, and the atmosphere of impunity," she said.
Add this to the list of reasons why I'm glad to live here. When is the last time you heard of a reporter in the U.S.A. being slain for criticizing political leaders? Leaders here are expected to be criticized and to take it. Even President Obama is now getting some criticism from the media despite their bias for him during the election season. As it should be. No leader should be given a pass on everything they do, no matter how much we may like them. There just isn't anyone out there that perfect.