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Russia's Howard Beale Moment?

Must-see viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in Russia or the muzzling of the free press.

It's Leonid Parfenov -- a popular former NTV host who was fired in June 2004 for violating his employment agreement, which obligated him "to support the company leadership" -- speaking at a ceremony for an award named after slain journalist Vladislav Listyev.

He begins with a reference to the latest operation on journalist Oleg Kashin, who was savagely beaten by unknown assailants, and goes on to indict a situation in which Russia's political leadership serves as puppetmaster and independent media are ruthlessly extirpated.

We're looking into the accuracy of the translation and other circumstances -- for instance, the claim that the speech was censored and didn't air in its entirety.

-- Andy Heil

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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