Armed and masked police raided the opposition New Times magazine on Thursday, pressing journalists to hand over interview recordings used in reports on alleged abuse of authority by the OMON riot police.
A handful of police entered the magazine’s Moscow office seeking recordings of interviews and other material used in a February report that cited police sources as saying OMON officers are permitted to commit abuses when breaking up protests.
“We suggest you voluntarily — voluntarily — give us the recordings of the interview with the current and former OMON staff,” the officer in charge of the raid told New Times editor Yevgenia Albats in the presence of a Reuters reporter.
Putin, Predator of the Press
Reporters without Borders has come out with a list of the 40 worst “predators of the press” on the planet, and unsurprisingly both Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov are on it.
Here’s what RWB has to say about Putin:
Russia descends further into the Totalitarian Mire
Late last year, when the Reporters without Borders organization released its latest index of press freedom, we learned that Russia had fallen a shocking 12 places from its ranking the prior year to #153 in the world out of 175 countries under study, for the first time dropping below the crazed dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.
Last week, Freedom House released the latest results of its own ongoing study of press freedom. According to FH, Russia is doing even worse than RWB imagines. Russia is 26th out of 29 nations in Eastern Europe and a jolting, appalling #175 overall out of 196 nations under review. At rank number 175, Russia is tied with the crude African banana republic of Gambia according to FH’s seasoned analysts.
These ratings are eerily similar to other ratings held by Russia. It also doesn’t rank in the top 100 nations of the world in criteria like life expectancy or fertility. These facts are indicative of absolute, total failure on the part of the so-called “government” of Russia to build a successful, civilized state.
We cannot help but ask ourselves: Do the people of Russia have any shame at all?