Myroslava Gongadze’s husband Georgiy investigated the corrupt regime of Ukraine’s president, Leonid Kuchma. Kuchma did not like this very much, writes The National Review’s Jay Nordlinger:
Georgiy was being hounded by the secret police. He alerted people to this development. In September 2000, he went missing. His wife swung into action. She made as much noise as she could. Journalists had been killed before, and so had opposition politicians. But they had died quietly. Myroslava determined to make noise, in her husband’s behalf. She held press conferences. She lobbied parliamentarians and foreign ambassadors. She organized protests. She did everything she could to make Georgiy’s disappearance a huge story, an important national event. And she succeeded.
But the regime would not return Georgiy. They killed him. Two months after his disappearance — his abduction — his body was found. Shortly after that, Myroslava listened to a chilling tape. It was made in the innermost councils of government. And it had come into opposition hands. On the tape, Kuchma and his men were laughing about the murder of Georgiy Gongadze. They were also wondering what to do about his widow — who was still making noise. The widow figured she should run, with Georgiy’s and her children. People around her said, “No, it will be all right. You could be a member of parliament. You could do all sorts of things.” But she trusted her instincts.
In 2001, she and her daughters were granted political asylum by the United States. She worked as a freelance journalist. From the National Endowment for Democracy, she received a fellowship — a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship. Reagan, you don’t need to be told about. Fascell was Dante Fascell, as you may recall. He was the congressman, a Florida Democrat, who for many years chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee. NED always makes things even-steven: R’s and D’s.
Read more here.