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Grigory Yavlinsky hands out awards to the journalists

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"It would be hard to find a state in the world which would appreciate such journalists like you," said Chairman of the YABLOKO party Grigory Yavlinsky addressing the winners of the All-Russia Contest of Regional Journalists "Against All Odds" ("Vopreki"). "Corruption has become today the basis of not only economic, but also the state order, and we all realize the difficult conditions in which you have to work," stressed Yavlinsky. He also noted that the journalists-participants in the contest had chosen "a difficult way." The award ceremony for the winners and laureates of the contest was held in Moscow on Tuesday, October 22, 2002.

The contest "Against All Odds" was being held for the fifth time and bears the name of Larissa Yudina, Editor-in-Chief of the "Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya" ("Soviet Kalmykia Today") newspaper and member of the regional branch of YABLOKO in Kalmykia, who tragically died at the hands of killers. As well as the YABLOKO party, the contest was founded by Novaya Gazeta, the Glasnost Protection Fund and the Alliance of the Heads of the Regional Mass Media of Russia ("ARS-PRESS").

The contest is held for journalists from the regional press. The organisational committee considered both published and unpublished articles (due to pressure from the local authorities). The winners of the contest are the authors of courageous articles who proved their readiness to go against the current, who demonstrated their independence from the authorities and old public stereotypes hindering the formation of a law-based civil society in Russia.

Journalists from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia participated in the contest in 2002. The organisational committee of the contest received over 400 articles. The contest was won in 2002 by 17 journalists and newspapers from Russian newspapers and 10 journalists from newspapers from otherCIS countries. Two laureates - Firat Valeev and Natalya Skryl from Rostov - were awarded their awards post-mortem.

See also:
Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia
The Murder of Larissa Yudina. Chronicle of Events

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