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Russia

Opposition Leaders Appear On Russian State Television

Russian opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov (left) and Vladimir Ryzhkov (right) pictured here with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
Russian opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov (left) and Vladimir Ryzhkov (right) pictured here with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
Two senior leaders of Russia's unofficial political opposition have made surprise appearances on separate political talk shows on the country's tightly managed state-controlled television.

Vladimir Ryzhkov, a former Duma deputy and a leader of the unregistered Parnas opposition movement, appeared on state-owned Channel One at 10 p.m. Moscow time on January 26, while former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, also a Parnas leader, appeared an hour later on NTV, which is owned by the state-controlled Gazprom natural-gas monopoly.

Nemtsov told viewers it has been a long time since he'd appeared on national television.

"It's true I haven't been in the NTV studio for five years," he said. "Obviously, something is happening in the country."

Both programs were recorded in advance and edited, but they featured sharp criticism of Putin, who is running in the March 4 presidential election.

Nemtsov even openly called for Putin to stand aside.

"You will be surprised but [Boris] Yeltsin served [as president] only for eight years," he said. "But Putin has been [in power] for 12 years already and he wants 12 more years.

"Maybe that is enough. He wants [to remain in power] longer than Brezhnev and a little less than Stalin. Who needs that? The government must change. The corridors of power must be aired out."

Most Critical Comments 'Removed'

Writing later on his blog, Nemtsov said the original discussion was two hours long, but the program was just one hour. He said some of his most critical comments were removed.

Russia has been shaken by mass protests following the announcement in September that President Dmitry Medvedev would not seek a second term and Putin, who served two terms as president between 2000 and 2008, would participate in the election.

In December, the country held legislative elections that were widely viewed as falsified.

Some analysts attribute the minor thaw in Russian state media to the reassignment last month of Vladislav Surkov, who has managed domestic politics -- including the media --  for the Kremlin since 1999.

Amid widespread calls for his resignation, he left the presidential administration and was named deputy prime minister in Putin's cabinet.

Compiled from agency reports
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by: Ben
January 30, 2012 18:23
Russian journalists have more guts than rfe,which prefers not to have enemies.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 31, 2012 03:01
Only a very small part of the journalist Ben, most of these guys is ppl who are engaged in self-censorship and do the job of party and governmen.

You can certainly understand them, people want to eat and fear losing their job

I am sure this show- when opposition Leaders Appear On Russian State Television was organized by Putin and his cronies, to show everyone that in Russia political pluralism and freedom of speech...

You can not just talk about freedom of speech on Radio Liberty as they adhere to certain concepts, and if so, what does not fit into the concept of Radio Liberty-- censored...

A typical example- Mr. Babitsky--editor in chief of " Echo of the Caucasus"--which is a branch of Radio Liberty..
There's a concept-mythic reconciliation Caucasians..reconcile and not to consider the murder, robbery, brutality of bandits..
In other words-
Forget about your house, murdered relatives, home and dance "lezginka" (Caucasian dance) with the bandits
Thank you very much Andrei Babitsky for such "valuable" advice-)))

Mr. Babitsky ordered the moderators ban information on the facts of ethnic cleansing and other crimes of Abkhazians and Ossetian
and people who wanted to speak the truth on the forums of "Echo of the Caucasus" -banned by order of Babitsky..
In Response

by: Anders from: Norway
January 31, 2012 14:50
Dear Ben - Do you know the truth about journalism in Russia ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw07vTRUcy8

Tens of thousands of copies were sold in Russia in 2002.[2] Sergei Yushenkov presented the film at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2002, decrying lack of civilian control over the Russian armed forces including the secret services.[4] A staffer in Senate Foreign Relations Committee said, "We just cannot go out and say that the president of Russia is a mass murderer. But it is important that we know it."

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