Report: Man convicted in journalist death released to fight in Ukraine

Russian media say a man convicted over the killing of a journalist 17 years ago has been pardoned after enlisting in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Anna Politkovskaya, who worked for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006. She was a known critic of President Vladimir Putin.

The online edition of Russian newspaper RBK on Tuesday reported that a former law enforcement officer was released after fighting in Ukraine last year. He had been sentenced to 20 years in prison as one of the convicts in the journalist killing.

Novaya Gazeta carried a statement by Politkovskaya's family members on Tuesday. They strongly criticized the government for releasing the man. They described the pardon as an outrage against the memory of a person killed for her beliefs and professional duty.

Novaya Gazeta is known as an independent newspaper that consistently upholds freedom of speech in Russia. Its editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.

The Russian government is reportedly replenishing troops fighting in Ukraine with convicts, enlisting them by offering pardons and high salaries.