Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 (SPIEF 2014) in St. Petersburg, in this file picture taken May 23, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files
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Five men received long prison terms Monday for the killing of prominent Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya after a trial that failed to reveal who masterminded the Russian journalist's murder.The case caused international outrage because of the brutality of the contract-style killing and the failure of the authorities – even now, after nearly eight years and several trials – to identify who commissioned it.Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the murder at the time but infuriated Politkovskaya's supporters by saying her ability to influence Russian politics had been "extremely insignificant" and her killing had caused greater damage to Russia's image than her writing.Lev Ponomaryov, a human rights campaigner who worked with Politkovskaya, voiced a widespread belief in Russia when he said that people in the higher echelons of power might have played a role in the killing.
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