On Tuesday the tabloid Tvoi den’ published [the names of] all the arrested for Politkovskaya’s murder. It’s interesting that according to this newspaper there seems to be 11 not 10 as [Prosecutor General] Chaika said.
1. Alexei Berkin
2. Dmitri Lebedev
3. Tamerlan Makhmudov
4. Dzhabrail Makhmudov
5. Ibrahim Makhmudov
6. Oleg Alimov
7. Mohamed Dimel’khanov
8. Akhmel Isaev
9. Sergei Khadzhikurbanov
10. Dmitiri Grachev
11. Pavel Riaguzov
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By Sean — 12 years ago
The Russian elite’s control over the Russian media marches on. The NY Times is reporting that media executives who are Kremlin allies are instituting a “50 percent” rule on news reporting. The bosses at the Russian News Service have told their journalists that “at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.” What is the difference between “positive” and “negative”? As one editor told the Times on the condition of anonymity, “When we talk of death, violence or poverty, for example, this is not positive. If the stock market is up, that is positive. The weather can also be positive.” The journalists also claim that they’ve been instructed not to mention opposition leaders and the US must be portrayed as an enemy. Nice. To think I thought Fox News was bad. Wait, this is exactly what Fox News does!
Most will charge that the increasing media control in Russia is directly coming from the Kremlin. I don’t think so. And neither does the Times. Something else far more sinister is at work. Namely, an the elite is using its financial and political power to ensure their continued existence. Control the message and you control minds. Thus, says the Times, “the tactic has been to impose state ownership on media companies and replace editors with those who are supporters of Mr. Putin — or offer a generally more upbeat report on developments in Russia these days.” Oligarchs who have connections with the Kremlin essentially buy up major media outlets and directing them at their ideological whim. This is what has happened with the Russian News Service.
The Russian News Service is owned by businesses loyal to the Kremlin, including Lukoil, though its exact ownership structure is not public. The owners had not meddled in editorial matters before, said Mikhail G. Baklanov, the former news editor, in a telephone interview.
The service provides news updates for a network of music-formatted radio stations, called Russian Radio, with seven million listeners, according to TNS Gallup, a ratings company.
Two weeks ago, the shareholders asked for the resignation of Mr. Baklanov. They appointed two new managers, Aleksandr Y. Shkolnik, director of children’s programming on state-owned Channel One, and Svevolod V. Neroznak, an announcer on Channel One. Both retained their positions at state television.
Mr. Shkolnik articulated the rule that 50 percent of the news must be positive, regardless of what cataclysm might befall Russia on any given day, according to the editor who was present at the April 10 meeting.
When in doubt about the positive or negative quality of a development, the editor said, “we should ask the new leadership.”
Yes ask. I’m sure whatever answer you get will be in the “leadership’s” own interest and no one else’s. After all, that is one aspect of the elite that you can always count on.Post Views: 879
By Sean — 10 years ago
Evgenii Kolesov, one of the jurors in the Politkovskaya murder trial, was on Ekho Moskvy today and said the following about the sudden closing of the trial to the media:
“I can’t say that the initiative originated from us. In no way did any of us demand this,” the juror emphasized. According to him, the court secretary came to the jury room before the trial and asked them to sign a request to conduct the trial without the press, but “yesterday no one signed this request.” Today, the jurors for the Politkovskaya case addressed the court with a request to allow the print media into the trial.
It appears that the plot is thickening.Post Views: 560
By Sean — 11 years ago
It’s already falling like a house of cards. Two more suspects in the Politikovskaya murder were taken off the list today. Prosecutors announced that Oleg Alimov, one of the former Moscow police officers, has been freed from custody. Alimov and his three colleagues were suspected of working with former FSB officer Pavel Riaguzov, police Major Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and three Chechen brothers in the murder. However, Kommersant is now reporting that “an integral part of the Prosecutor’s map of the crime fell apart with the suspects Riaguzov and Khadzhikurbanov. The General Prosecutor presented both with charges of abducting people, violating the privacy of homes, and abusing their position and using excessive official authority.” These charges are for crimes the two men committed with their were a spook and a cop in 2002. “I don’t understand on what basis they tried to tie my client to the Politkovskaya murder case,” Riaguzov’s lawyer told Kommersant. “The charges that they presented to Riaguzov have no connection whatsoever to the murder. A direct connection between both cases is found in the minds of the Prosecutors.” We can probably expect the release of more suspects in the coming days.
Russian officials acknowledge that releasing suspects in a normal practice. “An investigation is being conducted and if the charge doesn’t fit, the suspect is freed.” Some feel that there is pressure for the Politkovskaya investigation be quick, leading to mistakes, rush to judgment, and not fully scrutinizing sources and leads. I can buy that. I’ve seen Law and Order.
It all makes you wonder though if Chaika shot his load too early. Or the announcement is merely part of a campaign to let the world know that the Russians are looking. Another possibility is as Iuliya Latynina suggested, and perhaps she is right, that the “shit was beginning to ooze” and the public was going to find out anyway. If that’s the case, the Prosecutor’s Office might have figured they might as well get some propaganda value out of it. Unfortunately for them, the release of more suspects might squander whatever value is left.Post Views: 967