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Lower bounds involving f-divergences between the underlying probability measures are proved for the minimax risk in estimation problems. Our proofs just use simple convexity facts. Special cases and straightforward corollaries of our bounds include well known inequalities for establishing minimax lower bounds such as Fano's inequality, Pinsker's inequality and inequalities based on global entropy conditions. Two applications are provided: a new minimax lower bound for the reconstruction of convex bodies from noisy support function measurements and a different proof of a recent minimax lower bound for the estimation of a covariance matrix.