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Press release, 24.10.2000
Grigory Yavlinsky concerned about negative situation with the press in Russia

The leader of the Yabloko association Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that an unfavourable situation has developed for the press in Russia. In an interview with journalists on October 24 he called this situation “the most unfavourable for the past ten years”.

“Today propaganda has rapidly been transformed into the official line; the propaganda of lies, the propaganda of developments in Russia that are related to war, violence, illegal actions by the authorities, the propaganda of illegal use of the structures of the offices of the Public Prosecutor-General, investigations, different forms of pressure on the press and free journalists,” said Yavlinsky.

He added: This is becoming the norm.”

According to Yavlinsky, the pressure on the mass media is being exerted by “financial and administrative levers”.

“Programmes about the protection of human rights and everything related to the protection of citizens, their rights and freedoms, have been removed

from the schedules of the state channels and radio programmes,” noted Yavlinsky.

He thinks that “in this sense the situation in Russia could be compared to the calm before a storm”.

“We can ascertain that when the Russian authorities carry out such a witch-hunt in the mass media, the authorities are preparing to implement

measures that go against the interests of the majority of Russian citizens”, added Yavlinsky.

Asked why the authorities are treating the mass media in this manner, Yavlinsky noted that “our authorities hold the belief that if something is not discussed in the papers or mentioned in the news of the information agencies, or shown on TV, it has not actually happened”.

He continued: “The authorities have been trying to create an artificial world to manipulate our citizens.” He added: “drawing on the experience of past wars and violence in Russia, the authorities try to manipulate public opinion.” Yavlinsky noted: they continue enriching a few, small groups in Russia and curtailing the development of democracy and freedom.”

Based on Interfax reports.

Grigory Yavlinsky criticizes the decision of the Kursk regional court to annul the registration of Rutskoi for the gubernatorial elections

The leader of Yabloko association and its faction in the State Duma Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that the “actions undertaken by the authorities against

Alexander Rutskoi cannot be justified”.

That is how Yavlinsky commented during a meeting with journalists on October 24 in Moscow on the decision of the Kursk regional court to annul the registration of Rutskoi as a gubernatorial candidate at the present gubernatorial elections in the region.

“I think that the court’s adoption of this decision 12 hours before the

elections, moreover these 12 hours at night, represent actions that set an example to anyone who would like to manipulate the elections with mercenary motives,” noted Yavlinsky.

“I don’t have any political sympathy for Rutskoi. However, the manoeuvre

used against him provide a clear example of dishonest manipulation, which only goes to show that the elections here and in Russia in 1999 and 2000

were riddled with cases of fraud,” noted Yavlinsky.

Based on Interfax reports.

Sergei Ivanenko speaks out in favour of the development of electoral laws

One of the Yabloko leaders, Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction in the Duma, Sergei Ivanenko, believes that the present head of Kursk Region Alexander Rutskoi would have lost the gubernatorial elections. However, now he has a chance to contest these results in court.

In an interview on October 23, 2000, Ivanenko noted that, irrespective of his personal attitude to Rutskoi, the court decision that led to the debarring of the candidate the day before the elections, “goes against common sense”.

Ivanenko pointed out that the law actually allows for the annulment of a candidate’s registration “virtually on election day”. But, stressed Ivanenko, “in accordance with the sense and the spirit of the law in this case it should be some extraordinary actions and scandalous violation, for example, the large-scale buy-out of the electorate on pre-election day.”

This is not such a case. “As a classicist once said, it would seem that everything has been done correctly in form, but in essence this is a mockery of the law”, noted Ivanenko.

According to Ivanenko, Rutskoi would have lost the elections, if he had participated, but now he has a chance to contest their results. He would

have lost the gubernatorial elections. However, now he has a chance to contest their results in court. Ivanenko also pointed out that most of the citizens of the Kursk region came to the election booths and this “demonstrates their attitude to Rutskoi”. The events in Kursk are a lesson for the legislator, stressed Ivanenko. He also said that corresponding amendments should be made to election laws, so that a candidate removed for some reasons from the election has the time to contest such a decision. Ivanenko proposed that a special body be established in the Supreme Court to provide an instant reaction in such situations.

According to Ivanenko, the elections in Kursk represent a dangerous signal, as awareness that our courts are not yet completely a component of civil

society, it cannot be ruled out that such measures can be used further during elections in other regions of the country, noted Ivanenko.

Based on Interfax reports.

The results of the Larissa Yudina contest of regional journalists

Two newspapers and 15 journalists were the prize-winners of the nation-wide contest of regional journalists “Against all Odds” who on October 24 were awarded diplomas and prizes “for honesty and high principles in asserting their citizen’s positions.”

The contest was established by the Yabloko Association, the Fund for Glasnost Protection and the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper. It is already being held for the third time. On the proposal of Yabloko’s leader Grigory Yavlinsky, the contest was awarded in the name of Larissa Yudina, the Editor-in-Chief of the independent newspaper “Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya” (“Soviet Kalmykia Today”) who was murdered in June 1998.

“The newspaper continues to be published, thanks to the support of Yabloko, the Union of Russia’s Journalists and your support, despite the attempts of the authorities in Kalmykia,” said the present Editor-in-Chief of the “Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya” newspaper and husband of Larissa Yudina Gennadi Yudin.

The prize-winners of the contest this year are the “Yunost” newspaper, Yaroslavl, and the “Lik-Kurier” newspaper, the city of Kotovo of Volgograd Region, and journalists from St. Petersburg, Perm, Togliatti, Kyzyl, Astrakhan, Kirov, Vladimir, Gorno-Altaisk, Nizhni Novgorod, Sochi, Volgograd, Penza, Stavropol, Kaliningrad and the city of Lytkarino of Moscow region.

Grigory Yavlinsky and a member of the Yabloko faction, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Novaya Gazeta”, Yuri Schekochikhin, handed out the prizes to the winners. “The authorities place a muzzle on and even attempt to throttle all advocates of free speech" said one of the prize-winners Pavel Agapov (the “Centr” newspaper, Perm).

Greeting the prize-winners of the contest Grigory Yavlinsky spoke in favour of the creation of a union of independent journalists, as an additional body, attached to Russia’s Union of Journalists. He also stressed that Yabloko would try to make the authorities name the contract killers of Larissa Yudina.

According to information from the organizers of the contest, this year for the first time journalists from the CIS countries and Israel also submitted their work to the contest, in addition to the work of Russian journalists. The range of topics and genres has also been expanded – from criminal investigations to the protection of animals.

Based on Interfax reports.


List of Prize-Winners of Larissa Yudina contest of regional journalists “Against all Odds” (“Vopreki”)

October 24, 2000

  • “Yunost” (“Youth”) newspaper, Yaroslavl
  • Pavel Agapov, “Centr”(“Centre”), Perm
  • Natalya Andropova, “Gorodskiye Vedomosti” (“City News”), Togliatti
  • Nadazhda Antufieva “Centr Azii” (“The Centre of Asia”), the Tuva Republic
  • Nail Bashirov, “Mig” (“Moment”), Astakhan
  • Ludmila Butkova “Lytkarskiye Vesti” (“Lytkarino News”), Lytkarino
  • Galina Varaksina “Vyatskiy krai” (“The Vyatka Area”), Kirov
  • Sergei Dulov, “Prizyv” (“the Call”), Vladimir
  • Nina Dumnova, “Zvezda Altaya” (“The Altai Star”), Gorno-Altaisk
  • Lev Zarkh, St. Petersburg
  • “Lik-Kurier” (Look-Courier), Kotovo, Volgograd region
  • Marina Metneva, “AIF-Nizhni Novgorod”
  • Galina Mityagina, “Chernomorskaya Zdravniza” (“The Black Sea Resort”), Sochi
  • Tamara Proskuryakova, “Volgogradskaya Pravda” (“The Volgograd Pravda”)
  • Galina Chernikova “Grazhdanin” (“Citizen”), Kaliningrad
  • Viktor Shamayev “Mir Ludei” (“The World of People”), Penza
  • Ludmila Shapovalova “Stavropolskiye Gubernskiye Novosti” (“Stavropol Regional News”)

See also:

The Murder of Larissa Yudina. Chronicle of Events.