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Print-Run Buy Scuttles Russian Book Launch

No show: "Notes From A Survivor" was meant to be launched at the Moscow International Book Fair (file) (RFE/RL) September 7, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- An unknown buyer has purchased the entire print run of a book by Russian political activist and rights campaigner Ruslan Linkov.

The move led Linkov to cancel the presentation of his debut book, "Notes From A Survivor," which was scheduled to be launched September 6 at the Moscow International Book Fair.

His publisher said the buyer ordered all 5,000 copies before they were printed.

Linkov told RFE/RL's Russian Service that his work mentioned several high-ranking politicians and looked into the 1997 assassination of Mikhail Manevich, then St. Petersburg's deputy governor.

"Gennady Nikolayevich Seleznyov, the former State Duma speaker, and St. Petersburg's former governor, Vladimir Anatolevich Yakovlev, are mentioned in this book," he said. "The book answers, among answers, the question of why and how did graffiti appear on St. Petersburg's walls and fences in 1997 and 1998 reading: 'Yakovlev, why did you kill Manevich?' I wouldn't want all my future books and articles to fall into the hands of one person or a group of people interested in stopping their circulation."

The book also refers to the assassination of crusading pro-democracy politician Galina Starovoitova, who was gunned down in 1998 in the staircase of her St. Petersburg apartment building. Linkov was shot in the head but survived the attack.

Another 5,000 copies of "Notes From A Survivor" are due to be printed and distributed to bookshops within weeks.

Garry Kasparov, the Russian opposition leader and former world chess champion, was also unable to present the Russian edition of his latest book at the Moscow book fair.

The Moscow-based publishing house Eksmo declined to publish his work, titled "How Life Imitates Chess."

Eksmo spokeswoman Maria Markova insisted there was no political subtext to the decision. She told RFE/RL the book was not issued because the Eksmo subsidiary that concluded the contract with Kasparov three years ago was shut down last year and no new contract was drawn up.

RFE/RL Russia Report

RFE/RL Russia Report

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