The U.S. State Department has urged Russian authorities to find those who ordered the murder of prominent Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
In the statement issued on October 7 -- the ninth anniversary of her killing -- the State Department said "impunity for her murder, and that of other journalists...in recent years, contributes to a climate of fear and self-censorship and puts journalists’ safety at risk."
Politkovskaya, a critic of President Vladimir Putin whose reporting exposed high-level corruption in Russia and rights abuses in its North Caucasus region, was shot dead in her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.
Last year, two men were sentenced to life and three others to long prison terms for their involvement in the crime.
Relatives and colleagues said on October 7 that justice will not be done until those who ordered her killing are identified and convicted.
Politkovskaya was killed on Putin's birthday, prompting speculation that her murder was meant as a "gift" to the president.