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Noviye Izvestia 'Closes' After Director Fired

Published: March 4, 2003 (Issue # 848)


MOSCOW - Noviye Izvestia published what editors said was its last issue Friday after a business shake-up they claim will put their independence at risk.

Noviye Izvestia, which has been critical of the Kremlin, suspended publication a week ago after publisher Oleg Mitvol fired Igor Golembiovsky from the post of director, citing discrepancies in the company's financial records. Mitvol said Golembiovsky could remain editor in chief.

In a front-page editorial Friday, Golembiovsky's team said it was quitting.

"Obviously, losing control over the newspaper, we are losing the ability to write and publish what we believe is necessary," the paper said.

However, the team said it would try to save the paper over the next month. "We are saying, 'Until later,' instead of a hopeless 'Farewell,'" they wrote.

Other Russian media reported that the editorial team, which controls a 24-percent stake in the paper, was fighting for the right to the newspaper's name and logo in hopes of reviving the publication with new financial backers. Mitvol manages the other 76-percent stake

The newspaper likened its conflict to a 2001 shake-up at NTV television and last year's closure of Berezovsky's TV6 - both caused by business disputes that journalists said were in fact motivated by the Kremlin's desire to stifle criticism.

The international media-freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders agreed. "Sidelining the editor in chief of Noviye Izvestia and the temporary shutdown of one of the only newspapers critical of the government - that denounces war in Chechnya and human-rights violations - appears too useful to the Kremlin in the run-up to elections to be a coincidence," the group's general secretary, Robert Menard, said in a statement Wednesday.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for the end of this year, and presidential elections in 2004.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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