Dmitry Muratov, Politkovskaya's former editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, said her work lived on, giving an example of a Russian officer brought to trial for crimes committed in Chechnya that she had uncovered.

Colleagues also gathered for a private graveside remembrance of the reporter while others laid flowers and photographs at the entrance to her apartment building in Moscow.

Killing unsolved

"We call on
the Russian government
to bring to justice ... both those who killed Anna Politkovskaya and those who ordered her murder"


Letter from 'Reach All Women in War'
Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of Putin, particularly over his policies in Chechnya, was shot dead inside a building lift as she returned home from shopping.

Prosecutors announced the arrest of 11 suspects in August but some were later released.

The chief investigator on the case was removed amid accusations of political interference.

Vladimir Lukin, Russia's human rights commissioner, said that a final solution of the murder case was "of crucial importance for the public and the state".

"Establishing the names of the organisers of the murder is the key thing, which has yet to be done," he said.

'Transparency needed'

According to prosecutors, the crime was masterminded by anti-Kremlin forces abroad whose aim was to discredit Russia, but they have not produced any evidence to support their claim.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote to Putin last week questioning aspects of the official investigation into Politkovskaya's death and urging a "thorough, transparent and unbiased" probe.

Meanwhile, human rights groups and other activists have expressed fears that trouble could be sparked at the rally by pro-Kremlin youth groups, who have rejected any suggestion of government involvement in the Politovskaya's death.

However, leaders of Nashi, Russia's largest pro-Kremlin youth organisation, have said they had no intention of interfering in the protests and intend to organise an outdoor party to mark Putin's 55th birthday.