In a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, Mikhail Lesin, an advisor to the Russian president, said that he categorically disagreed with the opinion that the editor in chief of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, Paul Khlebnikov, fell victim to the policy of the Russian government. Mr. Lesin's letter was in response to "Lawless Russia," published in the Wall Street Journal on July 12.
"Every day dozens of people, above all journalists and businessmen, fall victims of killers in many cities, including New York," Mr. Lesin wrote. "However, nobody in Russia accuses the leadership of the U.S. or some other country that "a criminal elite in which gangsters, businesses and corrupt officials work together" is behind all these tragic murders. Alas, this is a quotation from your article. Its author insists that Mr. Khlebnikov is the victim of the Russian leadership."
Mr. Lesin wrote: "However, it is absurd to believe that Paul Khlebnikov is a victim of the present regime. Russia has radically changed for the better since then. To deny it means not to understand this country. By the way, Mr. Khlebnikov wrote that the Russian state has seriously consolidated in its opposition to criminals."
In his opinon, "these accusations are a result of emotions."
"The words of Steve Forbes," Mr. Lesin wrote, "who said that Mr. Khelbnikov passionately believed in a better Russia and considered that the country enters a new epoch of legal and innovate business are closer to me."
Mr. Lesin emphasized that: "Undoubtedly, this murder aroused indignation in the Kremlin and among Russian top officials. Therefore, the Russian Prosecutor General took "personal control" of the investigation. If Russia can do anything for Paul Khlebnikov's family, it will do it. We shall search for the killers and find them."