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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

ITAR-TASS: back in the USSR

Vladimir KORSUNSKY: “Russia is heading for an abyss and Putin for an international tribunal”
24 March, 2014 - 17:33

ITAR-TASS wants to regain its Soviet name TASS (Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union). This decision was made unanimously at a session of the organizing committee of the agency’s 110th anniversary celebrations, Rossiyskaya gazeta reports. Ukrainian and Russian journalists are joking in the Internet: Putin is bringing back the Soviet Union not only in content, but also in form.

Vladimir KORSUNSKY, chief editor of the online newspaper Grani.ru, comments here on what the “wish” of the Russian Informational Telegraphic Agency to regain the Soviet title means. Incidentally, last week this portal, together with Yezhednenvy zhurnal and Kasparov.ru, was put on the list of websites banned by Roskomnadzor (Federal Service on Supervision in Telecommunications and Information Technologies). As Mr. Korsunsky himself admitted, this has brought up Grani.ru’s readership by 30 percent.

“First of all, this means that no agency can decide anything by itself. This agency’s staff and management could only express this wish, following a command or a persistent ‘hint’: if we are restoring the Soviet Union, it would be a good idea for the agency to regain the old title. Secondly, I am not appraising the rationality of the Kremlin’s revenge-seeking circles.

“It is always difficult to appraise colleagues. Today, colleagues do not usually work in Russia. In today’s Russia, the head of state has declared war on the ‘fifth column’: national traitors and God knows who else – all those in Russia who disagree with him. The authorities are applying methods absolutely typical of a war time. They appoint special propagandists as media top managers and assign them routine tasks. The main task during hostilities is to ‘disarm’ the enemy troops, disorientate and sow panic among the populace. This is what the main Russian TV channels are doing now.

“Russia is heading for an abyss and Putin for an international tribunal. Whether or not they reach the destination will depend on the degree to which Ukrainian and Russian societies as well as the world community are able to resist this plague.

“Whenever an all-out propagandistic effort is made to brainwash the populace, people may give in to this even in the developed countries. But then, as the psychosis begins to recede (and it usually brings on woes when it recedes), this vanishes and people begin to sober up and see in what terror they have lived. This occurs quite often in various nooks of the world. In the Soviet Union, the populace had a bellicose mood during the Afghan war. But when the campaign began to drag on, Afghanistan was putting up resistance, and coffins with ill-fated boys were coming to Russia, people began to sober up. That was one of the factors that made the Soviet Union cease to exist.”

By Ihor SAMOKYSH, The Day