She was shot twice in the chest, once in the shoulder, then once in the head at point blank range – a classic sign of a professional hit.
Forensic teams who examined the body of Anna Politkovskaya, one of Russia’s most prominent journalists and Kremlin critics, say the first two shots struck near her heart and were fatal.
The assassin, who had been waiting for her return from a shopping trip, used a pistol with a silencer attached.
For several minutes, her body lay undetected, slumped in the elevator of her Moscow apartment block before neighbors raised the alarm.
Justice has never been done
In the ten years since this brutal murder, linked to her candid and fearless reporting of the conflict and human rights abuses in Chechnya, there have been numerous arrests, two trials and five convictions, including of three Chechen brothers.
But former colleagues say justice has never really been done.
“Absolutely no criminal investigation is taking place to find the person who ordered the killing,” says Dmitry Muratov, editor of Novaya Gazeta, the independent Russian-language newspaper where Politkovskaya was a investigative reporter.
“The state should take responsibility and do everything it can to find who ordered this huge political killing,” he told CNN.
But the Kremlin – which denies any connection with the killing – has a poor record when it comes to solving political murders, especially when investigations point to a Chechen connection.
Accused of gross abuses
Chechnya lies in Russia’s troubled Caucasus region, and was ravaged by two brutal wars in the 1990s between government forces and separatist rebels.
It’s led by Ramzan Kadyrov, appointed Chechen president by the Kremlin in 2007 to control the republic.
Human Rights groups accuse security forces under his control of gross abuses, including torture and forced disappearances.