The United States on Tuesday called on Russia to push ahead with a probe on the killing of a reporter who was an outspoken Kremlin critic, saying "no one can get away with murder."
The call came a day after Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced that 10 men had been arrested in the October 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya, one of the few outspoken critics in Russia of President Vladimir Putin.
Chaika told Putin in a televised meeting that police had made "serious progress" and that those arrested would be charged in the near future with committing this "serious crime."
"We're glad that the Russian government is continuing with this investigation and that progress has been made," said Tom Casey, a US State Department spokesman.
He noted that the Russian law enforcement authorities were also pursuing the case of another jounalist Paul Klebnikov, a US citizen who was murdered in 2004.
"Not only in any society do you want to make sure that no one can get away with murder, but certainly any acts that appear to be designed to intimidate journalists, limit freedom of expression, limit freedom of the press are of particular concern," Casey said.
"So we hope that the Russians will continue to pursue these cases and hope to see more information and more details about this come through as the days and weeks move forward," he said.
The Politkovskaya murder was one of a string of major blows in late 2006 to the Kremlin's image, coming just before the lethal radiation poisoning in London of fugitive Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, which the Kremlin has also painted as an attack on Russia.
The announcement of 10 arrests was the first major breakthrough since Politkovskaya was gunned down in the stairwell to her Moscow apartment building as she returned from shopping.