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11.07.2006

Russia has banned “Radio Svoboda” (“Radio Liberty”) and “Voice of America”

   

While Kyiv cannot stop amazing the world with its surprise political manoeuvres, lightening changes in seemingly fixed formats and positioning of the coalition and opposition, in Russia, according to the Washington Post, they have officially stopped broadcasting the Russian programs of “Voice of America”.  The newspaper reports that unnamed state bodies have forced over sixty FM re-broadcasting services to stop broadcasts of programs of “Voice of America” and “Radio Svoboda”.  The officials refer to licensing infringements and re-formatting of programs without notification of the Russian authorities.

Delving deeper in search of the real reasons, the American party considers that these were the interview last year which the “Radio Svoboda” correspondent Andrei Babitsky took of Shamil Basaev who claimed responsibility for the seizure of the school in Beslan. “Radio Svoboda” did not broadcast the material, but it was shown by ABC television. The Russian Government suspended the channels accreditation. The management of “Voice of America” suspect that it was specifically this conflict which has led the Russian Ministry to resort to such measures against US information services.

Against this background, it does not seem coincidence that the Georgian President Saakashvili  warned Bush that Russian was trying to throw a shadow over his government in the hope of frightening activists from democratic movements, and not letting them speak out against corrupt regimes like that which  was in power up to the Revolution of Roses, the newspaper writes. In an interview to the Post, Saakashvili asserted that Moscow was resorting to grubby tactics aimed at physically and economically exhausting the fragile mountainous country. “This will mean that revolutions don’t work and all should calm down. The message is that “coloured” revolutions are bad, and nobody is going to force them to follow that example, he said in Washington. The White House has promised to speak up Georgia’s joining of NATO, the Washington Post reports.

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