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article imageGQ bans article in Russia about Putin involved in 1999 bombings

By Andrew Moran     Sep 4, 2009 in World
In the new September issue of GQ magazine, war journalist Scott Anderson exposes the truth that former President and current Prime Minister of Russia was involved in the 1999 apartment bombings.
In September 1999, Chechan separatists committed heinous terrorist attacks against the Russian Federation. Hundreds of people were killed; terrorists took over a school in Beslan and more than 100 people died in a Moscow theater. Putin took over for Boris Yeltsin and immediately began a crackdown against the terrorists and a second war was started against Chechnya.
Scott Anderson, and several others from before, claims that Vladimir Putin was involved in the attacks or had prior knowledge beforehand.
This September, Americans and others can view the new GQ feature about the former Russian President Vladimir Putin's involvement in the 1999 bombings however, Russians will not be reading it because Conde Nast, owner of GQ and Vanity Fair, has decided not to run the story, according to NPR.
Jerry S. Birenz, one of the company's top lawyers, sent an e-mail to corporate staff and GQ editors at the end of July regarding the story, ‘Conde Nast management has decided that the September issue of U.S. GQ magazine containing Scott Anderson's article 'Vladimir Putin's Dark Rise to Power' should not be distributed in Russia.’ GQ has gone further by stating Anderson’s article cannot be posted on the magazine’s website, the American issue cannot be sent to Russia nor can any government official, journalist or advertisers in Russia can be shown the article. Editors were also instructed not to promote the story however; a few staff members gave several news outlets the information on the article and the politics behind it.
In Russia today, any sort of defamation against the establishment could result in many unwelcomed acts and the authorities tend to make life harder for journalists who walk on shaky ground. The program director for Europe and Central Asia at the Committee to Protect Journalists Nina Ognianova says, ‘You can be sued for defamation — but you don't even have to be sued. You can be audited. Politicized audits are a big hurdle for publications that dare to publish sensitive topics.’
Nevertheless, Scott Anderson is not the first person to make such a connection between Putin and the bombings. Boris Berezovsky, a tycoon in Russia, also claimed that Vladimir Putin knew that the Federal Security Service (FSB) was involved in the attacks, which took hundreds of lives, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘At a minimum Vladimir Putin knew that the FSB was involved in the bombings in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Ryazan.’
Anderson concluded with one point after it was confirmed that GQ would not release the article in Russia, ‘If you're worried about repercussions and you bow to them, you're basically surrendering to the other side.’
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