The Newspaper that No One Expected

When some people see the first print edition of the Pravda newspaper, many may ask if another newspaper using this title is necessary
However, a better question would be why this issue has come out in the first place. The newspaper that is known to the whole of the world could not but return to tell the clone newspaper being published at the facilities that at one time belonged to us that it is published illegally.

This odd history looks very much like all privatization tricks performed during Yeltsin’s epoch. In August 1991, being absolutely plunged into the triumph after defeating the GKChP (the Government Committee for the State of Emergency), then-president of the country signed an illegitimate decree to suspend publication of the Soviet newspaper Pravda. Several days after the document was issued, a number of future prominent members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation colluded with Mikhail Poltoranin, a confidant of Boris Yeltsin, and registered a new edition under the Pravda name. This is the history of appearance of a new editorial staff headed by Gennady Seleznev who alienated the editorial staff - professional journalists who had been hired over a many years by Editor-in-Chief Viktor Afanasyev. 

One may say it is an ordinary deal, just another one in a long row of dirty deals concluded in Russian over the past fifteen years. This is a traditional pattern used for privatization of Soviet industrial giants and the largest raw material enterprises. The takeover of the leading Soviet newspaper could have been passed unseen as many deals of that period. 

Today, Pravda is considered to be a poorly run party newspaper. In fact, many factory newspapers are now printed with greater professionalism.  Have you ever seen people buying this newspaper? Maybe it happens from time to time. And this is not because the number of people supporting the leftist views is insignificant in Russia. Leftist parties have been remarkable successful over the past decade. 

In the media world, Pravda is not represented there at all. The English editors of PRAVDA.Ru watch the daily mentioning of Pravda and PRAVDA.Ru in the world press. The index of Pravda’s citing in the world press is zero.

The ideology of the clone newspaper issued today is another argument. Pravda is no longer the center of Russia’s leftist movement. Many of the active leftist figures are treated persona non-grata only because these people disagree with the opinion of the Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov on many issues. It is important to mention that the real Pravda has always been the site for public discussion that further became the spur for development of the leftist movement.

Today, the newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Russian Federation belongs to a joint-stock company where the Communist Party is a minority shareholder. The controlling interest belongs to the Rosagropromstroy enterprise, the family enterprise of the Vildmans, a pawn of oligarchs. It is not ruled out that some day Khodorkovsky or Potanin may lay claims to the Rosagropromstroy property, the Pravda newspaper including.

In 1993, the clone newspaper of Pravda rejected a project of people’s alternative constitution of Russia simply because it could prevent the Communist Party from entering the lower chamber of the parliament. Members of the party’s central committee decided it was not in their interest to popularize the project approved by millions of Russians. 

The substitution of the newspaper turned out to be the loss of seniority for many of the Pravda editorial staff. When the future Communist Party organization developed a new editorial staff and registered it, they forgot to dismiss journalists from the old Pravda editorial office and to register them as employed at a new company. Thus, hundreds of people have only the following: they were employed by one organization but discharged from an absolutely different one.

The above mentioned facts allow us to start fighting for the revival of the newspaper illegally closed by the presidential decree. This is a fight for the right to issue the edition to join the leftist forces of the country that are now situated on the different sides of the barricade because of absurd ambitions of the powers-that-be. This is to become a struggle for the newspaper that attempted to prevent the breakup of this great country. A lawsuit on behalf of the Pravda editorial staff has been registered at the Tverskoy Court of Moscow.

The first issue of Pravda has already been issued, this is the newspaper which nobody expected to appear.

Vadim Gorshenin

Author`s name Vadim Gorshenin