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Putin Is Not the Enemy of Free Press. He Is Its Pinochet

Putin Is Not the Enemy of Free Press. He Is Its Pinochet
Аlexander Golovenko 05.05.2010

Today May, 5th - Day of the Soviet Press. I congratulate all of us with it. On the 3rd, on Day of Free Press, international human rights organization "Reporters without Borders" published the list of enemies of mass-media. Russian Prime Minister V.Putin and the Chechen president R.Kadyrov were among them.

Nothing's heard about reaction of a "birthday man". However his press-service made yesterday the whining statement.

- Unfortunately, we don't know criteria which were used as basis for such conclusions, - Press Secretary D.Peskov declared to the news agency RIA News and named inclusion of his chief into the list of 40 worst enemies of free press all over the world "deeply erroneous".

According to this official, his boss made a lot that mass-media "became more economically independent and accordingly freer". Press-synchronist of the prime minister believes that the "error" could be caused by the fact that composers of the list do not have sufficient information.

Certainly, they do not. If they had - they would enlist Putin into the enemies of mass-media ever. We already saw how free journalism started being suffocated after his enthronement in the Kremlin. We saw how they ruined NTV having made it toady as the First and Second channels and thus absolutely unnecessary and inutile. We saw how "accidentally" editors offices burst out and too freedom-loving editors-in-chief were fired out...

Here you are, for example, rather informative story. In August, 2006, on one of the fair Saturday morning the roof of editorial office of the weekly newspaper "Patriot" situated ten-minutes walk away from well-known Petrovka, 38 suddenly burned up. That is ten-minutes walk away from the Municipal Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow. Firemen came when only coals remained.

- It is obvious to us that it was planned operation on destruction of the newspaper, - the editor-in-chief of "Patriot" Michael Zemskov declared staying on ashes to the journalists gathered. - We burred in the saddle to too many of the high and mighties.

Its old authors - known to all country and abroad writers, art workers and military leaders - decided to help to patriotic newspaper. Here you are the reference which they directed to the Kremlin having published it also in a number of newspapers (I give it in short). Just look though the surnames of those who signed it!

Open letter to the president of the Russian Federation V.V.Putin

Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

On August, 26th, 2006 in the centre of Moscow, in a building located on Petrovka street, house № 26 there was a fire as a result of which premises occupied by the oldest domestic newspaper "Patriot" (being published since May, 10th, 1927, till 1991 - "The Soviet Patriot", central body of Central Committee DOSAAF of the USSR) were completely destroyed. Fire destroyed all property and possessions of the newspaper: computer centre, office equipment and furniture, photo-, audio- and video equipment, unique archive with newspaper files since 1927, the manuscript of articles and books of authors and journalists of "Patriot", veterans of the Great Patriotic War. Unique photograph collection, library of the edition totaling more than 2000 books, a banner of the edition with Order Red Star and Order of the Red Banner of Labour burnt down. All its title, registration, personnel and financial documents, work record cards and employee history files of the edition also burnt down ...

Knowing about your careful attitude to history and traditions of our great Power we address to you, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, with the request to take, as an exception, immediate state steps to help weekly newspaper, to rescue the oldest patriotic newspaper for our history.

АКSENOV V.V., twice Hero of the Soviet Union, space pilot of the USSR;

BONDAREV Y.V., Hero of Socialist Labour, writer, the chairman of the International Community of Writers' Unions;

VARENNIKOV V.I., Hero of the Soviet Union, general, deputy of the State Duma;

Zemskov M.А, editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Patriot", winner of the International award named after M.A.Sholohov;

CARPOV V.V., Hero of the Soviet Union, writer;

Lvov D,S., the head of section of economy of the social sciences department of RAS, director of Institute of New Economy, academician;

NOZHKIN M.I., people's actor of Russia, winner of the State award of Russia, poet and composer;

IVANOV V.I., people's artist of the USSR, active member of Academy of Arts of Russia;

YAZOV D.T., Marshal of the Soviet Union, Minister of Defence of the USSR in 1987-91.

Three and a half year passed. What answer was received by the authors of the reference and the staff of "Patriot"? None. Organizers of arson are not found. Then there's a question: who if not Putin doomed the newspaper to dying. I think he is the customer, I have no other conclusion. It is also possible to recollect how members of "Edinaya Russia" illegally expelled from "Parliamentary Newspaper" with consent of Putin its founder - patriarch of the Soviet and Russian journalism, editor-in-chief Leonid Kravchenko. How on October, 7th, 2005 by means of a gang of raiders edition of "Gudok" was taken into possession of the government. Its editor-in-chief, writer-statesman Igor Yanin was displaced. So to say, they pleased the customer in the day of his birthday.

So you shouldn't, Mr. Peskov, sing military songs to us. Legends are being composed about love of your chief to free mass-media. Putin is not simply enemy of free press. He is its Pinochet.

P.S. I think, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov will tell what care of true Putin-followers made him to settle down in Ukraine.


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