Sevastopol pays final respects to journalist gunned down in Moscow

13:45, 26 January 2009
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Anastasia Baburova was gunned down in central Moscow on Jan 19

Sevastopol residents on Monday paid final respects to journalist Anastasia Baburova, who was gunned down in central Moscow on January 19 together with lawyer Stanislav Markelov, according to Itar-Tass.

The requiem was held at St Vladimir Cathedral. Anastasia Baburova will be buried in the central city cemetery.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko expressed his condolences to the journalist`s family.

Anastasia Baburova was born in Sevastopol, Ukraine, and grew up there. She studied in Moscow from 2000, working for a number of media outlets, including the Novaya Gazeta.

She was an active participant in anti-Nazi rallies by youth organizations.

A week ago, she happened to be walking beside lawyer Stanislav Markelov, at the moment when he was assassinated. Baburova was seriously wounded and died later in the day in a Moscow hospital.

Her photo was set in the entrance hall to the department of journalism of the Moscow State University, shortly after the news about her death.

"It`s a heavy personal loss for me," said the department`s dean Yelena Vartanova, personally acquainted with Anastasia.

"She was a reliable and very intelligent person, with creative approach to any task; and she treated her profession as a mission," she said.

She has achieved much during her 25 years: she finished school with top grades earning the gold medal, had top grades at the University and was a string correspondent for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Also, from the first days of studies at the University, she actively helped teachers in developing mass media projects, including the University portal Mediascope, and she was system administrator of Internet-classes for a long time.

"Nastya, by trying to defend the lawyer, showed to all of us that journalist is not an indifferent person, who strives for justice and resists crime," Vartanova said.

Lawyer Stanislav Markelov was the prime target of the assassination. He demanded at a news conference just before his murder that judicial authorities resume criminal persecution of former Colonel Yuri Budanov, who was accused of killing Chechen girl Elza Kungayeva in the village of Tangi-Chu in March 2000 (The North Caucasus district military court found Budanov guilty of abducting and killing the girl and sentenced him to ten years in prison. It also stripped Budanov of his rank of Colonel and state decorations. Budanov spent more than 8.5 years in jail and was granted parole on January 15, 2009 - eds Itar-Tass).

Budanov said after Markelov`s murder that he had nothing to do with it.

"That`s a base provocation with which I have nothing to do. Someone`s trying to drive a wedge between Russians and Chechens," he said in an interview with by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Itar-Tass

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