Anatoli Baranov: no “Events” in Moscow Region

Today, the Sobytiya (Events) television program, run by Yevgeni Tolstykh, failed to be broadcast on the Moskoviya channel. The programme was banned by the Moscow Region’s vice-governor Mikhail Men, son of the late Father Aleksandr Men who had suffered a lot from censorship in his time. But is it the vice-governor’s business to introduce censorship? Aren’t there other more urgent problems in the impoverished Moscow Region? For some reason, former State Duma deputy representing the Yabloko faction has been charged with supervising the region’s mass media. The Moskovia television channel is considered the most prominent outlet of the Moscow Region’s media. Unfortunately, the channel’s position has run counter to that practiced by Mr. Men’s Yabloko party and its like-minded NTV television channel. In the programme devoted to Chechnya, there were no Chechen sufferers, no browbeaten boyish-faced soldiers, weeping mothers, brutal commandos, and hero rebels. Instead, there was Duma deputy Mr. Alksnis speaking of the genocide of Russians in Chechnya, of abandoned Russian refugees. There was Anton Surikov explaining why the Chechen campaign was so inefficient and how Chechnya was to be cleared of the bandits. There were other experts saying in chorus that the war should be brought to a complete victory. There was information of secret talks held by Moscow politicians with Chechen warlords, of common commercial interests pursued both by Moscow tycoons and Chechen militants, of a budget earmarked to Chechnya’s “renovation.”