What Happened last week, the Brutal Beating of a journalist Oleg Kashin Kommersant Still Remains One of the Most debated Topics, Not Only in the Russian media, But Also in the International Community. The journalist is Still in hospital, condition HIS Doctors Estimate AS ” stable heavy. “
Who and What is to Maim and Kill Russian Journalists? Is there Protection from people with Valves That Lie in wait at the door? Why in such Circumstances, the constant Threat of life, many Continue to do Journalism? These and Other questions Are Answered by the deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, Sergei Sokolov, in an interview with the Russian Service Bi-Bi-Si Anastasia Assumption.
BBC: Kashin’s Not the First journalist to Whom attacked. Why HIS Case Has Received such a response?
Sergei Sokolov: I ASSUME That the limit of patience of the journalistic Community crossed. All Those Endless beatings Became Fashionable Not Only to Journalists, But Also Against Public Figures, just Opinion Leaders, “living” in the network. Journalists and Activists beaten in Moscow , St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Samara, Saratov, Anywhere. Baseball Bats, accessories Have Become the main argument Against Those Who Have the Right to Express Their point of View and Express IT very actively, Including the Internet and media.
You See, in Oleg Kashin Agreed a few Things. Firstly, He, AS an active user of the Internet and an active blogger, [is] a Leader of Public Opinion, IT’s by far. Secondly, the Newspaper That He is Also a Leader of Public Opinion. And What Happened to HIM, is, in My Opinion, this Mafia Black label all the people Who Have the Right and Opportunity to Speak and in the network, and in Public.
He broke HIS Jaw, Not to Say That you do Not Want a Broken Leg Not to go WHERE no FOLLOWS One, and Broken Fingers, Not to write.This is a candid and frank Attempt to Challenge deterrence, Not Only Journalists, But anyone Who has their own opinion.
BBC: When you Say “Mafia” Black Mark, That you Have in Mind?
SS: The thing is That the symbolism of What Happened – and this, of course, there is symbolism, and colleague Oleg Kashin and simply Observers Agree with this – very Similar to What They do representatives of Mafia Structures in all known romanah.Ne know where it went, whether it’s intuitive desire or outright mockery of the society.
We need to Understand First of all, Who ordered all this ugliness.Undoubtedly, this Attack does Not exist symbolic AS Extremely Specific culprits and Extremely Specific Motives. But IT WAS all decorated EXACTLY like this.
It is such a popular Pastime Russian Leaders, Law enforcement Officials and Presidents. Starting with Boris Yeltsin That just do Not Take personal control. And None of Those That Were Taken cases under HIS personal control, in Principal, IT WAS Never completed.
Sergei Sokolov, Novaya Gazeta
BBC: Some Public Figures Have a rather opaquely alluded to Potential customers Beating Kashin. Tell Me, When in such high-profile cases Come up Fairly well known names, AS a Consequence Should REACT to IT, and IT Whether reacts in Russia?
SS: You know, a Sad experience, “Novaya Gazeta”, I CAN Say That at Best CAN reach the perpetrators, if people do Not Represent Any Social value. After all, no One Customer or assaults, no beatings or killings of Journalists WAS not found.
There are two resonant case, where we found the perpetrators: the murder of Larisa Yudina in Kalmykia and the killing of our [the journalist of "Novaya Gazeta"] Igor Domnikov, which, incidentally, also scored with a hammer in his apartment building in 2000. There Are Performers SAT on for years Imprisonment, But customers, DESPITE the Fact That They Were known, Not even prosecuted.
We have 10 years of Trying to force the Investigation committee and the police to criminal Institute Proceedings Against the Murder of Igor Domnikov customers. They Are known, They Are in the record. But nobody Called to Account.
BBC: In the Case of Oleg Kashin Investigative committee at Russia AS a prosecutor again urged the Public to help in the Investigation.The Case Has Taken personal control of the Prosecutor General Viktor Chaika. Does this mean That now the Investigating Authorities Are going to Get to the truth?
SS: That Will depend on Who is Still behind the Whole Story.
AS for personal control, then this is such a popular Pastime Russian Leaders, Law enforcement Officers and Presidents. Starting with Boris Yeltsin That just do Not Take personal control. And None of Those That Were Taken cases under HIS personal control, in Principal, IT WAS Never completed. So all this is, for the Most Part, sotryasanie air. I do Not Believe in Any personal control. Enough to See How Things Are the Most Resonant Case [in Russia] on bribery or Murder, and IT Becomes Clear That “personal control” is, sorry, it’s ridiculous.
BBC: Had IT Kashin at the Beginning of Term AS president, Dmitry Medvedev, in your Opinion, He Also fervently urged to find and punish the guilty?
SS: The Beginning of Term AS president Medvedev Has coincided with the Murder of lawyer Markelov and Anastasia Baburova Our Reporter.Do you Remember What WAS a tough Reaction from the president on this? There WAS a Meeting with Our editor in Chief, with shareholders, Were made and very Harsh statements. And by the way, I guess IT’s the Rare Case When a crime Will be Fully investigated. Very soon the Dock We Will See the Killer and accomplices.
Imagine the journalists who work in a small district center in a small newspaper, where everyone knows them and where their lives, their health, the health of their families every day in danger if they are real journalists
I Think IT does Not Affect the Political Situation. On the Political Situation Affects of duty Performers. How They Are going to Investigate a Particular crime depends entirely on What Interests Are involved, and Not from the statements made, Putin and Medvedev.
You See, IT’s all Oprichny Structure – the Interior Ministry, the UPC, the prosecutor’s Office – IT is Because no One obeys. If They Will need, They naplyuyut to anything: and the president and prime Minister Hon, and on Public Opinion and the media .
BBC: Some older Journalists Say That Have Forgotten many, and others and DID WAS Not know What the Deal with this in Journalism before. And Consider That in Today’s Russia is Not SO scary.
SS: I Worked in Soviet times and I CAN compare How IT WAS and AS IT is. I Will Say this: Of course, slingshots Those Censorship, the Limitations That Were at One time, IT is terrible and disgusting Certainly. But Nothing is worth a Human life. When the life of a journalist, health HIS, HIS family is Generally Not appreciated in a Society WHERE people Who Have Been threaten Journalists Killed or beaten with impunity, I guess Things That Are Incomparable.
Those days in IT WAS a question of How to Deal with HIS conscience and Trying to do What is Possible in the Circumstances That exist.Now this question, Too, is if We Take the State television channels, or Government and large oligarchic Edition. But nowadays there is a question and physical survival.
Not just now I’m Talking about Moscow, the Most terrible thing After all is Not there. Imagine the Journalists Who work in a Small district center in a Small Newspaper, WHERE everyone Knows Them and WHERE Their lives, Their health, the health of Their Families Every day in Danger if They Are Real Journalists. I do Not See What used to be Easier. Earlier there WAS a question of survival.
BBC: It is known That the “New Newspaper” Engaged in an Independent Investigation Into the Murder Works with you Anna Politkovskaya. What Problems, Obstacles you faced?
State violence is not state policy, but simply those people who wear shoulder-straps and weapons, given the opportunity to showboat on own people
SS: What is Investigative Journalism? We do Not Have Any Procedural rights and, of course, CAN Neither questioned NOR arrested or searched, IT is Not Within Our Competence. We CAN Only gather information from sources Those That Are AVAILABLE to us, talk to Those people Who Want to talk to us and try to Get answers from Government Agencies to the questions We ask. But the Government DID Not hasten to answer Our questions, and IT is connected Not Only with this Particular Investigation, and with anyone.
We Have Worked closely enough with the Investigation, and I CAN imagine What Obstacles Stood in Front of Them. First of all, IT’s a Huge corruption of Our Law enforcement Agencies, and police and prosecutors, and Investigative committee.
This is a terrible tangle of Relationships Corrupt Law Enforcers – the main Obstacle to the disclosure of criminal Any Case. Because if We Take Any loud Murder, Any high-profile Crimes, there always Will Sit One, two, and even More Security Officers or Law enforcement. It’s Their Own Private Business. And These people Are related to a Huge number of threads with Other people Who depend on Them. They each depend on each Other, SO Their They Will Not drown. That is the main problem in Investigating Any criminal case in Russia.
BBC: IT Is Possible Today to protect Journalists in Russia, and, if SO, How?
SS: I do Not See These Opportunities. And even if the journalistic Community, finally, Remember That IT – the journalistic Community, I Still do Not See How you CAN Resist That system of State Violence That prevailed in Our Country. Moreover, this State violence is not state policy, but simply those people who wear shoulder-straps and weapons, given the opportunity to showboat on his own people.
Became Their Own people Goods and a source of profit. And the Journalists in this Situation in Their way to do IT, SO the Journalists for Them Will always be enemies. How to protect? I do Not know, Because I do Not Have to defend the public from criminals, but from the state.
BBC: Why, then, in such Circumstances, the constant Threat of life people go Into Journalism, do Not protect Yourself? This is the Most ardent Love of Truth?
Journalists themselves have sold their own profession and their freedom of speech
SS: So Journalism something Different. There Are people Who write about butterflies, there Are people Who shoot glamorous Stories. It’s Their Choice, and, in My View, Given the Situation That prevailed in Russia, no One the Right to throw Their Accusations. this is a personal Choice – What to write, and WHERE to write How to write. And here the question is Not about Any kind of Public outbursts, Not about a Social movement, is a matter of Individual conscience of each person.
BBC: In One of the many rankings, Reflecting the Situation with Freedom of speech in Different COUNTRIES, Russia is on Adjacent indicators of Zimbabwe. The Russian Authorities Never Tire of repeating That course of Russia – is to upgrade. Why such a discrepancy and Desired actual?
SS: You know, people Who Represent the State and the people Who Live in this State, They Are in Parallel Realities. Do Not touch Nothing, and nowhere is That Officials Are Doing SO AS a Real Live people. These Are Different worlds, Different ideas about life, Different Income levels, all Different. Therefore, We CAN talk about Modernization, But IT is Completely Pointless idea to try to convey to the person Who is looking for extra hundred rubles to Raise a child in School.
Now I realize that not only the trip to some small town near Moscow poses a great danger, but also daily work in Moscow, too, represents a danger
With Regard to Freedom of speech, a Lie Would be blamed for the Fact That IT does Not exist, or That She is Kutsa, disability, Only the State.Journalists Themselves largely to blame for What Happened in Russia. When during the 1990′s they sold for huge money and oligarchs have started to lie, and lie made a business of their own and as a means of earning money, so from that moment it all started.
Journalists Themselves Have Sold Their Own and Their profession Freedom of speech. Now That Has changed State, Not the oligarchs, and Their [Journalists] Are now using Security Forces, IT is Too late to Jump Back. But They Started, IT and Should be remembered.
BBC: What Implications does guide publication, the employee is beaten or Killed? Does this mean That the publication is something very Doing Right, or, alternatively, Completely Wrong?
SS: You’ve got to watch, of course, on Why IT Happened, and positions Itself AS a publication. When They Killed Anna Politkovskaya, the Leadership of the Newspaper gathered, and decided That We Should We close the Newspaper. Before That We HAD Already Killed two Journalists – Igor Domnikov, and Yuri Shchekochikhin – and We Thought That Human life is Not worth of newsprint. When We expressed this idea in a Circle of Journalists, Young Journalists Who Came to this Newspaper, We Were Nearly Killed and forced to deal with the case.
After that, a lot of things happened, too fearful and heavy, and I think it is a choice, again, every edition and every journalist: to work in this edition, or not work, go away – not to go, to raise these matters or Not to Raise. The Only thing That the Leadership of the Newspaper Feels Absolutely Helpless. If Earlier, in 1990, I was afraid to send people to war, the North Caucasus, but now I realize that not only the trip to some small town near Moscow poses a great danger, but also daily work in Moscow too dangerous.
Given the humiliating situation of people who zamordovali police officers, government officials, low salaries, the owners of their businesses, what kind of self-esteem in this situation can be said?
I do Not know What and How a journalist CAN protect at five past four p.m. in Downtown Moscow. People Killed is Already in sight of the Kremlin, and How to build a Security system, I honestly do Not Understand, and None of the Leaders of publications does not understand.
BBC: Why, then, a Society Which CAN Not fail to See What Happens, does Not REACT Violently to such a Reality? Maybe people Are Happy with What We Have?
SS: The Russian Society is Not Happy, Russian Society is Sick. And then, Russian Society does Not exist. This kind of atomized Substance, the Individual Elements of Which Are Their Own living lives. Someone living on the ruble, They do Not Have diamonds, someone lives in business and making money, someone has left a spiritual opposition, understands everything, sees everything but prefers to not talk about it and be silent, and someone, and their majority, deals with survival.
After Moscow and all Russia – is Also two Different worlds. Those Problems and troubles That fall to a MAN in a Small town with One plant and One School, They Are Not comparable with What is happening in Moscow. These people Are Engaged in Their Daily Own survival and the survival of Their Families. And if in Front of Me, for Example, Will Face the problem How to build your child to School and How to Feed HIM, I Would Not care for Democracy and for everything else. Given the humiliating Situation of people Who zamordovali police Officers, Government Officials, low salaries, the owners of Their Businesses, What kind of self-esteem in this Situation CAN be Said? It is Not.