Liberty for Chechens?

Liberty Radio plans to reopen its Chechen office on April 3. The Russian government dislikes the recommencement of broadcasting in the Chechen language. Deputy Head of the governmental administration Alexey Volin is trying to draw the attention of the international community to the destructive propagation element inside Russia. He told journalists that recommencement of Liberty broadcasting in the Chechen language “will negatively influence not only security in Russia but also in the USA.” Control of the broadcasting station owners over the Chechen subdivision will be insignificant. In the words of Alexey Volin, “broadcasting will be done in the Chechen language (the editors would also like to add the Circassian and Avar languages as well) by representatives of Chechen radical groups. There are hardly any people in the USA and among Liberty Radio journalists that know the Chechen language.” This is why the extremist groupings will use the programs to spread their views and war methods among Chechen civilians. Moreover, such broadcasting may become “a kind of encouragement for extremism not only on Russia’s territory but in other countries of the world, as Chechen terrorists contact international terrorism organizations.

We should admit that Alexey Volin is correct when he says that the recommencement of Radio Liberty broadcasting will destabilize the situation in Chechnya, and that the USA will not be able to control the subdivision’s work completely. Unfortunately, concerns of the US authorities and Chechen separatists coincide on he whole; they aim at the splitting up and further decay of the indivisible Russia. Similar events happened in Yugoslavia, of which only Serbia and Montenegro are left now, where Americans and their NATO allies initiated the breakup, and the process is not over yet.

Earlier, presidential aide Sergey Yastrzhembsky had said that Radio Liberty would be deprived of a license for broadcasting in Russia for the very same very reason. The aide was concerned that reports about events in Chechnya would be biased. In his words, it was the Liberty staff that excused the actions of Chechen separatists with their reports in 1999-2000. It is clear that it is not the right time now to speak about the orientation of broadcasting in the Chechen language, which is why statements similar to those ones made by Volin and Yastrzhembsky can be allowed so far. However, sooner or later, the Radio Liberty subdivision in Chechnya will show itself. This is quite naturally to entail an adequate response from Moscow concerning the problem. Currently, Radio Liberty has a license with the RF Ministry for Press and Mass Media for broadcasting. If the broadcasting station violates Russian legislation, serious measures can be applied, including closure of the representative office.

Moscow promises to follow topics of the Radio Liberty programs very closely. Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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