The outcry in the west at Khodorkovsky's arrest was audible inside the Kremlin's walls

"The Economist" likens Putin to Dracula after Khodorkovsky arrest The sheer credibility of The Economist magazine makes its lead feature "Vlad the Impaler", which compares the Russian President to Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula, the more shocking in yet another clear demonstration of the western media's Russophobia.

The title of the piece in this week's Economist magazine conjures up images of a Transylvanian castle with heads impaled on posts, while Vlad tucked into his dinner, a surrealistic and fantasy world which only exists as a figment of the imagination. Even more surrealistic and pie-in-the-sky is the Economist's leader, complete with sentences such as: "Everybody knows that, in Mr. Putin's Russia, the taking of such a big fish has nothing to do with business misdeeds, still less with justice, and everything to do with politics and the Kremlin's control".

The outcry in the west at Khodorkovsky's arrest was audible inside the Kremlin's walls. However, what has the west to do with Khodorkovsky? And what business has the western media to run offensive and slanderous stories about the Kremlin's policies? The three main issues were missed by The Economist, such was the frenzy to take a shot at Vladimir Putin's Russia, the first being the way in which Khodorkovsky gained control of YUKOS and the way the distribution of shares has been managed. The second main issue is that Vladimir Putin's government is putting Russia back into the hands of the authorities after a decade of lunacy under Boris Eltsin. The third is to put a damper on the assault on Russia's resources by US companies - Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco were vying to acquire a large part of YUKOS' shares.

This is what the west does not like. Under the chaos of the Eltsin years, financial, industrial and real estate empires could run riot and gain huge swathes of property inside Russia. Now that the Kremlin is making business accountable for its actions, there is less space for such speculation. Now that Russia is slowly but surely being given back to the Russians, the foreign financial marauders are seeing the danger lights flashing. These are the real issues behind Khodorkovsky's arrest. However, the western media is not interested in real issues. The only time one finds stories about Russia in the western media is when there has been an accident in a mine (followed by stories about how dangerous Russian mines are, when in fact they are among the safest in the world and have the highest standards of safety) or when an aircraft crashes (followed by stories about how unreliable Russian aviation is, when in fact the statistics show clearly that Russian aviation is far safer than the USA's) or when Chechen terrorists down a helicopter (followed by stories about how inept are the Russian Armed Forces, when the British never defeated the IRA, neither has the USA subdued Afghanistan, not to mention the nightmare they have started in Iraq).What the western media would like, echoing the desires of their political masters, is a return to the chaos of the Eltsin years, with a Russian President who was the laughing stock of the international community with his ludicrous drunken acts in public, and an easily-corroptable echelon at the top of society who will willingly sell their grandmother for the right price.

With Vladimir Putin, this is not going to happen. The Kremlin has every right to protect the interests of Russia and preserve its resources for the Russian people. This was the promise that Vladimir Putin made when he was elected and true to his word, as always, it is exactly what he is doing. The fact that the Russian economy is growing, that the standard of living is rising, that Russia donates more and more to international relief organizations, that Russia's financial markets are strong and that Russia offers excellent investment opportunities is missed by the Economist and the other publications which call themselves "serious press". After Time magazine's lead article on prostitutes in a Portuguese provincial town, not The Economist speaks about Dracula. What next?

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Author`s name Olga Savka