Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia’s Press freedom: Is It As Bad As Old Days? No. But It Is Bad Enough!

Posted by Info on 08/02/2011

Luke Harding, the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent returned to Russia to resume his duties there after a period of secondment in London, where he had been working on the team assessing and organising WikiLeaks material. He was in a detention cell, with a valid visa he was back on the plane that had brought him to Moscow.

The Russian authorities took this step, unprecedented since Soviet times. These were to report on the many deficiencies that increasingly disfigure Russian politics and society, including the corruption of the state bureaucracy, the security establishment’s links to organised crime, the counterproductive brutality of the government’s policies in the Caucasus, the shrinking space for a free press, the hollowness of the country’s democratic institutions, and the abuses of the judicial system.

The WikiLeaks material revealed about the views of foreign diplomats and others on the nature of the Russian system as it has evolved, or rather, devolved, under Vladimir Putin in recent years. Those diplomatsand their opinions, because of their work, were in a position to know a great deal about Russian affairs. These were not as such the Guardian’s opinions, but it was right to publish them, because they represented the considered judgment, sometimes the very pained judgment, of people whose job it is to understand Russia.

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