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Friday, January 26, 2007

Kremlin, Inc.

Playing on the phrase "Murder, Inc." a 14-page article titled "Kremlin Inc." in the January 29th issue of the New Yorker (currently on newstands) contains a scathing indictment of Vladmir Putin, whose scowling visage emblazens the piece in a magnficiently malevolent two-page cartoon, for the murders of Khlebnikov, Politkovskaya and Litvinenko. Unavailable online, the piece concludes with this icy blast as Politkovskaya speaks from the grave:

We are Nobody
I have wondered a great deal about why I am so intolerant of Putin. Quite simply, I am a 45-year-old Muscovite who observed the Soviet Union at its most disgraceful in the 1970s and 1980s. Putin has, by chance, gotten his hands on enormous power and has used it to catastrophic effect. I dislike him because he does not like people. He despises us. He sees us a means to his ends, a means for the achievement and retention fo personal power, no more than that. Accordingly, he believes he can do anything he likes with us, play with us as he sees fit, destroy us as he sees fit. We are nobody, while he whom chance has enabled to clamber to the top of the pile is today Tsar and God. In Russia we have had leaders with this outlook before. It led to tragedy, to bloodshed on a vast scale, to civil wars. I want no more of that.
Go out and buy the issue, and read the horror for yourself. At last, American journalists are standing up for their colleagues across the sea -- though it's surely a pity that the New Yorker did not see fit to make this text available on the web. Who will Putin start killing when he's done with all the journalists in Russia? Ask not for whom the bell tolls, my friend.

NB: LR has written the New Yorker editors and asked them to publish the article as web content, and they have indicated they are considering it. It couldn't hurt for other readers to write and commend them for their wonderful reporting and second the request to put it on the net. The address for e-mail is: themail@newyorker.com

Meanwhile Robert Amsterdam has posted a PDF version of the article here.

3 comments:

Mariposa said...

Bravo to Michael Specter! Terrific article, and thanks for the link. And as you asked, I e-mailed "The New Yorker" to suggest that this article be made available as part of their online edition so people all over the world can read it more easily.

guzhevnikov said...

i thought the article was soft. journalists conspiring in '96 with the oligarchs to re-elect yeltsin or bitch-slap luzhkov is not the same as putin's kremlin-imposed censorship or other attacks on freedom. that's a sham and a stupid moral-equivilant. rivals today are thrown in jail or killed. OF COURSE business backed yeltsin and opposed a communist. geez, i wonder why? yelsin won in '96, first and foremost, because zuganov was a terrible alternative. he appealed ONLY to the over-50 crowd. that campaign was boiled down to a choice between a democratic future or a communist past. that's why yeltsin won.
the faces of the happy folks at the skating rink, the author should have noted, were the elite. but still its a terrific piece and a most importantly a wonderful tribute to politkovskaya. thanks to russophobe for posting.

Mariposa said...

Just letting you know to update this post because TNY made Specter's terrific article available online:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/070129fa_fact_specter