[main page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][guestbook][press-service][hot issues]
YABLOKO and NTV

Special for YABLOKOs web-site
By Alexei Melnikov, member of the YABLOKO Bureau
May 19, 2009

Journalists and politicians have been repeatedly returning to the topic of the fight of the most active part of the Russian society against political censorship, which was most clearly demonstrated during the meetings in protection of the NTV independent television channel in April 2001.

YABLOKO actively participated in the meetings for protection of NTV and was virtually the key political party protecting NTV. However, other moods were also popular in the traditional liberal environment then property is as important as freedom. And if so, transfer of NTV under control of Putins allies was quite normal. A well-known publicist Andrei Piontkovsky wrote about those developments, that NTV was eliminated by a team of liberal prowlers.

Today, eight years after, we can see that YABLOKOs stance was correct. Our opponents might tell us that the meetings did not succeed in keeping NTV independent, and that NTV and other significant independent media were eliminated. However, we think that YABLOKO and our allies participating in the meetings showed that the Russian society was far from being passive or voiceless, that is was capable of an organised meaningful protest. We did not manage to hit the goal, however our opposition to Vladimir Putin and his allies restrained Russias moves towards further strengthening of an authoritarian regime. This protest marked a page in the history of Russias fight for freedom, it can not be neglected. It was also a benchmark for the people who refused to act as an obedient mob and expressed their civil protest.

However, it is not only a page in history. The fight for freedom of speech by the most active part of the Russian society has not stopped, it goes on. It has only taken different forms. At present YABLOKOs main goal is to come to power through elections and via legislative measures create an independent television and achieve a real division of powers and political competition. The past eight years demonstrated too well the significance of these goals and what may happen when not only the parliament but television also turn into a political morass where there is no place for discussions and only croaking of frogs and buzzing of gnats is heard.

See also:

NTV case


Special for YABLOKOs web-site
By Alexei Melnikov, member of the YABLOKO Bureau
May 19, 2009