Chechen war reporter found dead
Politkovskaya had often received threats
Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent Russian journalist known as a fierce critic of the Kremlin's actions in Chechnya, has been found dead in Moscow.
The 48-year-old mother of two was found shot dead in a lift at her apartment block in the capital.
A pistol and four bullets were found near her body and a murder investigation has been launched.
Ms Politkovskaya's murder has all the hallmarks of a contract killing, says the BBC's Emma Simpson in Moscow.
The award-winning journalist became ill with food poisoning on her way to report on the Beslan school siege in 2004, which some believed to be an attempt on her life.
She also acted as a negotiator with the Chechen rebels who held a siege in a Moscow theatre in 2002.
Vitaly Yaroshevsky, deputy editor of the newspaper, believes she was killed because of her work.
Oleg Panfilov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, said Ms Politkovskaya had frequently received threats.
"There are journalists who have this fate hanging over them. I always thought something would happen to Anya, first of all because of Chechnya," he told the Associated Press news agency
"Whenever the question arose whether there is honest journalism in Russia, almost every time the first name that came to mind was Politkovskaya," he added.