Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, Joseph Stalin’s grandson, was a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin. He once said that Putin lacked brains. He was found dead yesterday on a Moscow street not far from his home. The reason for his death—he was 80—is not yet known. But here are some other critics of Putin who are now dead and how they died:
Natalia Estemirova. Estemirova was a journalist who wrote extensively about human-rights abuses committed by Russia in Chechnya. She was abducted and executed with a shot to the head in the woods near her home.
Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko had accused Putin of blowing up an apartment block and ordering the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaia. Litvinenko died three weeks after drinking cup of tea that had been laced with polonium-210, a deadly poison.
Stanislav Markelov . Markelov was a Human-rights lawyer who represented journalists who had been critical of Putin. He was shot dead by a masked gunman near the Kremlin.
Boris Nemtsov. Nemtsov was a deputy prime minister of Russia under Boris Yeltsin. He accused Putin of being in the pay of oligarchs. He was shot four times in the back as he walked home from a restaurant.
Anna Politkovskaia. Politkovskaia was a journalist who accused Putin of turning Russia into a police state. She was shot and killed in the elevator outside her apartment.
Sergei Yushenkov. Yushenkov was a liberal Russian politician and civil rights advocate who claimed Putin had ordered the bombing of an apartment block. He was shot dead hours after his political party was registered to participate in the December 2003 parliamentary elections.
In all, 21 Russian journalists who have been critical of Vladimir Putin have been assassinated. And Putin is the world leader that President-elect Donald Trump and a growing number of Republicans most admire. I wonder how long it will be before outrageous tweets will seem to be way too weak a response to critics.