Kremlin Bailiffs Pull the Plugs on Last Independent Television Network

| February 8, 2002 Issue

Kremlin Bailiffs Pull the Plugs on Last Independent Television Network, Fred Weir, The Independent
While Russia's young government struggles for political footing on shifting ground, there may be some quicksand in the quest for democracy. The Kremlin's closure of the nation's last independent television network silenced some of Russia's most "critical voices," reports Fred Weir of London's daily The Independent. The Kremlin replaced the once vibrant news source with "an all-sports station." Though Kremlin officials claim the station was closed due to "business disputes," Sergei Ivanenko of the state Duma's press commission says that the elimination of the station is a "clear result of a Kremlin effort to place all the biggest media outlets under state control. Russian officials disagree: "The Kremlin's goal is not to restore Soviet-style censorship, but to set tame limits on criticism and debate in the media." Which leaves some scholars to question how the death of the station will effect the future of Russia's press.
--Mary Matze
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