On what would have been Putin’s 37th wedding anniversary to his long-suffering wife, Lyudmila Putina, we extend a gift. Not a gift to Russia’s most notorious misogynist but to all the women he has discarded and violated. A gift of truth and recognition. This is the ‘culture’ Putin and the Kremlin want to spread to the rest of Europe.
We recognize anna politkovskaya
"I dislike him...for his cynicism, for his racism, for his lies."
Anna Politkovskaya, internationally renowned journalist, prize winning investigator, mother of two, was murdered for telling the truth and for disagreeing with a dictator.
Anna was a fierce critic of Putin, who she accused of stifling freedom to shake off his past as a KGB officer. She wrote passionately about the cruelties inflicted on Chechnya’s civilians by Russian forces and Chechen rebels. Politkovskaya documented torture, kidnapping and killings by the pro-Russian regime.
She was a rare independent voice in Russian media and always promoted telling the truth no matter the cost. In October 2006 she was murdered in the lift of her apartment block in Moscow, shot four times at point-blank range.
we recognize yelena grigorieva
Silenced For Speaking for the Voiceless
For years, Putin has given power to those who would demonize the human rights activist community in Russia. Even when leaving his wife for a 24 year old gymnast, he pushed for conservative and traditional family values in Russia, making it known he felt there was no place for gay Russians in “His Russia”.
Along with campaigning for LGBT rights, Yelena also demonstrated against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, the ill treatment of prisoners and a number of other human rights causes.
Yelena Grigorieva put her life on the line every time she spoke up for communities that had no voice. She was murdered in St. Petersburg, Russia on 21 July 2019 after being stabbed and strangled to death by unknown assailants.
The Kremlin proceeded to engage in a campaign to paint Yelena as an alcoholic who deserved what she got. Those who murdered Yelena were emboldened by Putin’s violent rhetoric against human rights activists.
We recognize maria maksakova
"The System is Killing People"
“The system is killing people” is a quote from Maria Maksakova’s late husband and former Russian law maker, Denis Voronenkov. The corrupt system that both Denis and Maria fought so hard to change did kill Voronenkov in the end, leaving Maksakova a widow.
Voronenkov and Maksakova were forced to leave Moscow and most of their
possessions behind to find safety in Kyiv in 2017. They had no real plans except to flee the pressure from Putin’s FSB and protect their family.
“In Russia, there is a system of total fear,” stated Maksakova when interviewed about their journey to Kyiv. Both she and her husband lived that fear daily even after leaving their oppressive home country.
In March of 2019, Voronenkov would be murdered on the street for speaking out with his wife against the oppressive Putin regime. Maksakova would be forced to watch her husband bleed out in the street, knowing he was assassinated for their shared bravery.
we recognize amina okuyeva
Hero of Ukraine
Amina Okuyeva, known as a hero in Ukraine, was murdered in a military ambush in October of 2017. She gave her life fighting against Putin’s reign of violence in Ukraine.
A veteran sniper and doctor, Amina Okuyeva and her husband, Adam Osmayev, were riding in a car past a railroad crossing. Their vehicle came under heavy
fire from someone in the bushes on the side of the road. While Osmayev was injured, Okuyeva was killed.
This was not the first time Putin had sent assassins to kill the hero couple. Amina was able to thwart an attack on their lives earlier that same year when a Kremlin sent a killer, posing as a journalist, to take them out. Amina was not only able to save her husband’s life after he was shot but she also took down the assassin by herself.
Amina Okuyeva truly embodied all of the characteristics beloved by those who value freedom and strength. Unfortunately, those are also the qualities Putin despises in women. Russia’s misogynist dictator can not bear to see women stand up to his abuses of human rights and his disgusting treatment of both his own people and those outside his borders.