Friday, December 16, 2011

Russian magazine executives fired after publishing insults to Putin

The editorial executives of the Russian newspaper Kommersant have been fired for publishing photos and articles against Prime Minister Putin after the last elections. Kommersant’s owner, Alisher Usmanov, asked the general director Andrei Galiyev and the editor in chief Maxim Kovalsky to leave, while the general director of the publishing house, Demyan Kudryavtsev, resigned with a letter. Mr Usmanov deemed the investigative report ‘How the elections were falsified’ as just “petty hooliganism”. Issued in the wake of the last Russian Parliamentary elections, the report was published with photos of swearing writings against Putin. Mr Usmanov, an oligarch with a fortune in the metal and pipeline industry and a major shareholder in Arsenal football club, is considered to be close with the Kremlin, and this can explain the massive dismissals in his newspaper. After the elections, peaceful demonstration took place in many Russian cities, questioning the victory of Putin’s Russia United Party, and concerns about possible intrigues in the next 4 March Presidential elections are increasing among the population. Putin’s new competitor, Mikhail Prokhorov, offered to buy Kommersant Publishing house from Alisher Usmanov, a taunting move in the Russian troubled political waters. The game for the Presidential elections is not closed as it previously seemed, and attention needs to be paid to press freedom and the contributions of newspapers and journalists in the next months.

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