TIME

My Year in the Dark

My son’s father was killed while reporting on Russian hired guns. I’m still waiting for justice
The author in the Novaya Gazeta office in Moscow on July 15

ONE YEAR AGO, ON JULY 30, 2018, three Russian journalists were shot to death and their bodies left on the side of a road near a conflict zone in central Africa. Their names were Orkhan Dzhemal, a renowned war correspondent; Alexander Rastorguev, an award-winning filmmaker; and Kirill Radchenko, their cameraman. The purpose of their trip to the Central African Republic was to film a documentary about the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company that has been active in several African countries in recent years and is believed to have ties to the Russian military and the state.

Authorities in Moscow say the reporters were killed in a random act of violence. It was a robbery gone wrong, goes the official line. But the colleagues of the victims have investigated the murders independently over the past year and have concluded that known associates of the Wagner Group were involved in the killings.

The victims’ friends and families have pleaded with the authorities in Russia to consider this evidence. Among the most vocal has been Dzhemal’s ex-wife Irina Gordienko, one of Russia’s best-known reporters. Ahead of the first anniversary of the murders, Gordienko described her experience of dealing with Russian authorities over the past year, not as

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