10 Февраля 2011 года


February 7, 2011


Sakhalin Region. Editor beaten up in Severo-Kurilsk

By Olga Vassilyeva,
GDF staff correspondent in Far Eastern Federal District

Alexander Chernega, editor and publisher of the local newspaper Paramushir-Vesti, was ruthlessly beaten near his house in Severo-Kurilsk, Sakhalin Region, late on February 3. Two unknown men, armed with karate sticks and a length of metal tube, attacked him from behind and proceeded to beat him, targeting the head, face and legs.

Overcoming pain the journalist staggered back home to call the police and an ambulance. He then had ten stitches put on his head, and his broken arm put in a plaster cast. Doctors say he will have to stay in hospital for two weeks as a minimum. The police have instituted criminal proceedings.

A. Chernega is a local celebrity reputed to have independent views and an active life stand. He has been a city assembly deputy for five years, and the editor and publisher of Paramushir-Vesti for seven years. He has also contributed reports to the newspaper Sovetsky Sakhalin, criticising the Severo-Kurilsk mayor and regional authorities for inefficient expenditure of budgetary funds.

The latest edition of Paramushir-Vesti, too, featured sharply critical stories. Specifically, Chernega pointed to the growth of administrative apparatus maintenance costs despite Governor Alexander Khoroshavin’s repeated pledges to cut them down, which resulted in no money left in 2010 to finance the repairs of the road to the city port or the renovation of the water supply network. The deputy’s critical position has more than once turned out badly for him. First, he was relieved of his duties as assembly deputy chairman for what was qualified as “a breach of ethical norms” following his March 26, 2010 publication “Tired of Waiting at the Ends of the Earth”. A week later, he was expelled from the United Russia party for the same “offence”. Four years earlier, some malefactors had torched his car.


Perm Region. Journalist appeals to European Court for protection

By Vassily Moseyev,
GDF staff correspondent in Volga Federal District

Perm-based journalist Mikhail Lobanov has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights about the Russian Federation’s infringing his right to freedom of expression and failing to do justice to him.

It all began with Sergey Skamrov, a Perm Region resident, filing an honour, dignity and business reputation protection claim against Lobanov and the newspaper Permskiye Novosti three years after a publication that had described him as a “repeated mercenary offender”, “criminal”, and “extortionist”. The author referred to a 2001 court sentence convicting Skamrov of two grave crimes – extortion pre-plotted by a group of persons, and robbery. Skamrov had already been expunged of those convictions by the date of the publication. Yet he had concealed his criminal record when applying for government service and adopting a high-level administrative position. Lobanov’s story was published amidst an investigation into Skamrov’s allegedly fraudulent behaviour…

After a primary court found Lobanov and his newspaper guilty of defamation, the journalist appealed to the higher-ranking regional court saying, in part: “Russian legislation does not have a provision that would cancel altogether or prohibit mentioning in a journalistic report the notion of “crime” only because of one’s having served a prison term for it. A crime is a fact of life of the person who once committed it – i.e., of a criminal.” A different approach would constitute an attempt to restrict his right to think and express himself, the author argued. Any journalist preparing a newspaper story is entitled to speak the state language observing the established literary norms, he said. The court disregarded the fact that the publication was of considerable public interest inasmuch as his newspaper and he informed the public of the fact of Skamrov’s failure to inform his would-be employer, a government agency, of his having earlier been convicted of extortion and robbery.

The author of the complaint pointed to the fact that the primary court sitting had proceeded without his participation, although he had requested a postponement: shortly before the hearing he had been ruthlessly beaten up, which fact was certified by a forensic medical commission. Yet the court did not consider that as a valid excuse and deprived him of the right to enter a plea of not guilty. The regional court actually confirmed the primary court’s decision, only slashing the amount of compensation payable to Skamrov by the newspaper and its author.

Finding himself unable to prove his innocence in his home country, Mikhail Lobanov turned to the European Court for protection.

 Commentary by GDF legal expert Svetlana Zemskova:

 The situation looks fairly complicated. One needs to know the grounds based on which Skamrov was expunged of those charges. Article 86 of the RF Criminal Code stipulates that “expungement shall annul all the legal consequences of a person’s conviction”. It is important to know if a special court sitting was held to decide on the matter and whether amendments were made to the prior court decisions as regards excluding the episodes described in the article challenged by the plaintiff.

 At the same time, the protection of a person’s honour and dignity is regulated by Article 152 of the RF Civil Code, which unambiguously states that any information must be true to life as of the moment of its publication.


Republic of Karelia. Candidate mayor threatens to “pluck out” reporter’s eye

By Anatoly Tsygankov,
GDF staff correspondent in North-Western Federal District

With mayoral elections in the Karelian city of Sortavala due next month, a list of candidates is being compiled now. As part of the election race, the local branch of the United Russia party is holding open primaries which non-members are free to attend to ask candidates whatever questions they like, but not take part in the voting. As a result, a single candidate for the Sortavala mayor’s seat will be nominated by the party organisation.

One of such meetings, where three candidates presented their programmes, was attended by Alexander Lugovskoy, editor of the newspaper Ladoga Online. He came to ask questions as a private person and to report on the meeting in his newspaper. Yet his presence in the conference room caused protests from S. Ryzhkov, a former head of the Sortavala District who is now running for the mayor’s office. He rushed toward the journalist threatening “to have it out” with him there and then. Although other conferees instantly held his aggressive attack back by reminding him about anyone’s right to attend the primaries, the would-be candidate had had the time to say quite a few rude things to Lugovskoy – specifically, to tell him he would “pluck out” the journalist’s eye.

When passions calmed down, the conference was resumed in the business-as-usual manner, with candidates giving details about their election programmes and answering questions from the audience. However, when A. Lugovskoy rose to ask his own question, S. Ryzhkov said he would only reply to questions from URP members.

Knowing the former district leader’s hot temper, Lugovskoy, sparing himself the nasty chance of getting in trouble, reported the incident to the municipal and republican prosecutors’ offices, the local police department, the Investigative Committee, and the Sortavala department of the FSB. He described the conflict that had flared up during the party meeting, cited the threat he had heard from Ryzhkov, and listed the names of eyewitnesses who would be ready to testify in court, if necessary.


Arkhangelsk Region. Opposition newspaper ousted from its office

By Tamara Ovchinnikova,
GDF staff correspondent in North-Western Federal District

The newspaper Velsk-Info has been ejected from its leased premises – according to editor-in-chief Konstantin Mamedov, at no notice at all, right on the eve of a regular issue’s release.

Velsk-Info is an independent newspaper known to be in opposition to the Velsky District administration. Mamedov sees the ouster as resulting from the pressure put by the district head, Mr. Smelov, on the businessman who owns the building where the newspaper rented an office.

In his appeal for support to the readers, the editor wrote:

“The deliberate, multi-victor course toward destroying the publishing company Velsk-Info and the public movement Vazhsky Krai has been pursued by the authorities in a consistent, well-calculated and centrally coordinated manner.

“For many years now, a real war has been waged against us, with diverse instruments of pressure used – a ban on our newspaper’s retail distribution in the city; threats against advertisers; vigorous price dumping in the advertising market; the release of a duplicate (i.e. rival) advertising bulletin with a falsely large circulation under our newspaper’s title; the use of administrative pressure; restrictions on access to information for our reporters; the spread of slanderous rumours, etc.”

Besides being subject to financial and administrative pressure, his newspaper has been pressured hard also by controlling bodies and the district judiciary. Over the past 4 months, Mamedov has been summoned to the Velsky District court 15 times; the Velsk justice of the peace 8 times; the Shenkursky District court 3 times; the Verkhovazhsky District court twice; the Velsk prosecutor’s office 8 times; the Verkhovazhsky prosecutor’s office once; and the Arkhangelsk court of arbitration 3 times.

On top of that all, legal claims have been filed, penalties imposed, and reprimands issued by the tax inspection, pension fund, fire marshal’s office, labour inspection, the board overseeing the use of small-size vessels, the Vologda Region’s RosSvyazNadzor [service in charge of public communications], and the Arkhangelsk Region’s antimonopoly authority.

Mamedov is convinced the goal is to suppress the democratic opposition in the Vazhsky territory and the Arkhangelsk Region’s sole mass opposition movement, Vazhsky Krai, which has spread its influence beyond the Velsky District and even the region itself.

And that requires destroying Velsk-Info as the economic and information-disseminating resource of the regional opposition.

The newspaper’s staffers are urgently looking for alternative office premises.


Chelyabinsk. Coverage of city Duma activities begins with scandal

By Irina Gundareva,
GDF staff correspondent in Urals Federal District

The prosecutor’s office in the region of Chelyabinsk has called for declaring the recent campaign to auction off the right of media coverage of the city Duma’s performance unlawful, and hence null and void. Thus the deputies fell short of spending a whole RUR 22 m on getting the opportunity to show off on TV, as well as on some little-known website.

The prosecutors checked up on the administration’s official web portal the terms and conditions of the municipal contract for the provision of information services, and found the document to be at odds with effective legislation. They established that on December 20, 2010 the municipal client represented by Yuri Chanov, the city Duma’s chief of staff, approved the holding of an open auction among potential providers of media coverage of Duma activities in 2011, and had the relevant announcement and documentation posted on the above-mentioned web portal. The auction involved 22 lots worth a total of RUR 22,600,000.

The bids were considered on January 20. According to the protocol, 20 lots failed to be auctioned off, and the auction commission decided that the municipal contract would be signed with the sole winning candidate – the company VIP.74 Ltd. – at the highest initial price.

Contrary to what is required under the law, the auction documentation cited firm-names, thus bringing down the number of potential auction participants, and named the particular media outlets appointed to produce and feature auction-related advertisements.

Based on its findings, the prosecutor’s office instituted legal proceedings against Y. Chanov under Article of the RF Administrative Code (“Mention by a client’s official representative in auction documentation of firm-names or service requirements leading to numerical restriction of the number of potential bidders”), and submitted the case files to the Chelyabinsk Region Department of the Federal Antimonopoly Service. Since no contract for the provision of information services for the city Duma had been signed by the time the legal proceedings were instituted, the auction results shall be declared null and void, the prosecutor’s office concluded.

The regional Antimonopoly Service Department is now expected to follow with its own conclusions.


Vladivostok. Mayor’s office allocates 1 m euro for PR-related spending

By Anna Seleznyova,
GDF staff correspondent in Far Eastern Federal District

The Vladivostok administration has decided to spend over RUR 40 m, i.e. about 1 m euro, on the media coverage of its activities. Six auctions have been held, resulting in the allocation of RUR 6 m from the municipal budget on Mayor Igor Pushkaryov’s coverage on TV by the OTV-Prim network; an equal amount by the PTR network; RUR 4 m by the Litsa-23 network; and RUR 7 m by TNT; RUR 8.62 by Radio Lemma; and RUR 9.23 by the newspapers within the Vladivostok-Novosti media holding. Newspaper Tikhookeansky Komsomolets reporter Zina Sidorova took a closer look at the auction results.

The auctions were held on a non-competitive basis: according to the commission’s protocol, they did not take place at all “in view of zero competition”. The sole bidder in each auction therefore got the municipal order automatically. The client – the city administration – had done everything to secure those bidders’ victory by checking their license provisions.

For example, potential bidders from the number of radio companies were required “to be able to broadcast in English”. Since only Radio Lemma has the relevant clause written into its license, it was that company that was certain to win the order. Significantly enough, Lemma is fully controlled by the mayor. To rule out any chance occurrences, the mayor’s office spelt out the auction’s special requirements by simply copying a passage from Lemma’s license: “Broadcasting shall be in both FM and AM in the frequency ranges of 87.5-108 MHz and 526.5-1,606.5 kHz, respectively”.

The requirements for TV companies were specified in a similar manner, with details about particular air times, frequencies and volumes of broadcasting… One special requirement was the availability of a mobile TV station, which category of equipment only the governor’s OTV-Prim network happens – by a pure coincidence, to be sure! – to own.

Journalists have estimated the Vladivostok administration’s allocations on media coverage at about RUR 40 m. For reference: in Khabarovsk, the administrative centre of the Far Eastern Federal District, the relevant figure amounted to only RUR 19 m.

That is not only a matter of money – it is also a matter of who those media belong to. For example, the Vladivostok-Novosti media holding, the founder and publisher of the newspaper Vladivostok, belongs to the cement company VostokTsement Ltd. which is co-run by two brothers, Andrei and Vladimir Pushkaryov. Their third brother, Mayor Igor Pushkaryov, runs the municipal budget from which his brothers’ company receives financial injections… “This is only the visible part of the mayor’s media iceberg; the rest is concealed from ‘competent’ eyes. Analysts say Pushkaryov’s elder brother, acting via intermediaries, controls not only the newspapers Vladivostok and Sem Dnei v Primorye, but also the newspapers Izvestia-Region, Argumenty i Fakty DV and Moskovsky Komsomolets vo Vladivostoke; the magazines Sady i Ogorody Primorya and Chef, and the radio stations VBC and Lemma,” analysts of the regional newspaper Tikhookeansky Komsomolets said.

Of course, web blogs are teeming with sarcastic comments regarding those allocations and their distribution by the “masters” of the media and the city. One reads: “Well, the mayor should look like a million (euro) on TV now!”


Rostov Region. Newspaper’s print run destroyed, editor left without salary

Continued from Digest 501

By Anna Lebedeva,
GDF staff correspondent in Southern Federal District

The Matveyevo-Kurgansky inter-district department of the Rostov Region Investigative Committee has continued an investigation launched in response to a complaint filed with the prosecutor’s office by Pyotr Bychkov, former editor of the district newspaper Rodnik. The complaint says the entire print run of one of the newspaper issues was destroyed at the insistence of the district administration.

The issue, Bychkov told the GDF correspondent, featured an interview with district ex-leader Alexander Krivorotov who went into detail about the previous district administration’s activities. As soon as that became known to the newspaper’s founder, the incumbent administration, it ordered that the print run be withdrawn from the press distributor Pochta Rossii and destroyed. District administration chief of staff Natalia Melnichenko even went personally to the printing house in Rostov where Rodnik is printed to pay in cash for a new print run.

P. Bychkov, who was also director of the municipal company releasing the newspaper, tendered his resignation and filed a legal claim for more than RUR 30,000 underpaid to him as newspaper editor. Justice of the peace Valentina Murzagishiyeva satisfied his claim, requiring the municipal company to pay Bychkov what was due to him. But shortly afterward, she canceled her own decision in view of Rodnik’s current editor Vassily Saputsky’s complaining to the prosecutor’s office about Bychkov’s having allegedly inflicted material damage on the newspaper by publishing the interview with the district ex-head on the page where a commercial advertisement should have been placed.

The prosecutor’s office, in its turn, without waiting for the Investigative Committee to check the circumstances of that incident, urged Judge Murzagishiyeva to cancel her compensation-awarding decision, which she promptly did, leaving Bychkov without his salary.

Rodnik readers are in the know of all those developments: the new editor never tires of criticising his predecessor vigorously. The Glasnost Defence Foundation will watch the developments closely.


Yekaterinburg. Activists stage rally of protest against police arbitrariness

Continued from Digest 509

By Vladimir Golubev,
GDF staff correspondent in Urals Federal District


An action to assess progress in the investigation into Yevgeny Ilyushchenko’s recent murder was held in Yekaterinburg’s Labour Square February 5. As we have reported, the 29-year-old video film director was shot and killed in a quarrel with a neighbour, police major Pavel Miroshnikov. City residents were appalled to hear about yet another instance of a police officer using his government-issue pistol while on duty in a state of intoxication. Chat forum postings have labelled the major “Yevsyukov, Urals style”, hinting at the drunk police officer who killed two and wounded seven other shoppers in a Moscow supermarket in April 2009.

Many journalists, bloggers and opposition activists – predominantly young people – came to Labour Square in downtown Yekaterinburg holding placards that read, “Police Must Protect, Not Kill Us!”, “For Police Without Trash!”, and “We Are For Sober Police!” Participants were given strips of white ribbon symbolising the purity of police forces.

Speakers recalled also other, no less appalling, crimes committed by police officers, testifying to impunity and mutual protection within the law enforcement system. Several high-ranking police commanders were seen watching the rally from afar, but none of them took the floor to apologize for the crime committed by one of their subordinates.

The activists gathered about 250 signatures under a petition to Mikhail Borodin, head of the Sverdlovsk Region Interior Department, urging him to ensure that Y. Ilyushchenko’s killing is investigated in a transparent and unbiased manner; that the regional police press spokesman Valery Gorelykh is fired; that a new public council is established under the regional Interior Department; and that law enforcement is thoroughly reformed and placed under stringent public control.



Conflicts registered by GDF Monitoring Service on RF territory in January 2011

Deaths of journalists – 1 (Roman Nikiforov, editor, TPO Red Media show, Moscow).

Missing journalists – 1 (Yekaterina Silina, REX news agency correspondent, Moscow).

Attacks on journalists – 3 (Dmitry Derunets, correspondent, TV-Tsentr channel, Moscow; Alexander Sveshnikov, editor-in-chief, newspaper Bogatei, Saratov; Dmitry Slastyonov, editor-in-chief, newspaper Zarya Timmana, Republic of Komi).

Instances of censorship – 3 (Militseiskaya Volna radio station, Republic of Karelia; Pust Govoryat TV show, Channel One, Moscow; newspaper Kommersant, Moscow).

Criminal charges against journalists and media – 4 (Dmitry Zidlyayev, editor-in-chief, newspaper Parma, Perm Region; Lydia Rtishcheva, former editor-in-chief, newspaper Molot, Rostov-on-Done; Nikolai Kirillov, editor-in-chief, newspaper Vechernyaya Ryazan, Ryazan; Vladimir Osipov, freelance journalist, Vladimir Region).

Illegal sacking of editor or journalist – 3 (Anatoly Tabachkov, editor-in-chief, newspaper Nakhodkinsky Rabochiy, Maritime Territory; Lyudmila Bryzgalina, editor-in-chief, newspaper Sem Dnei v Primorye, Maritime Territory; Yulia Biktimirova, press service employee, Chita eparchy).

Detention by polilce, FSB, etc. – 11 (Dmitry Zykov, journalist, Grani.ru web publication, Moscow, detained twice; Andrei Poznyakov, correspondent, Ekho Moskvy radio station, Moscow; Pavel Barabanshchikov, editor, newspaper Barrikada, Penza; Andrei Rysev, correspondent, Kogita.ru web publication, St. Petersburg; Sergey Chazov and Andrei Nekrasov, correspondents, Den news agency, Izhevsk; Yelena Khrustalyova, correspondent, Caucasian Knot news agency, Stavropol; Pavel Smolyak, editor-in-chief, Shum magazine, Sergei Yeremeyev, correspondent, Sensusnovus.ru web portal, and Fyodor Gorozhanko, correspondent, Zalivayev.spb website – all three from St. Petersburg).

Legal claims against journalists and media, registered – 9, worth a total of RUR 1,400,000.

Denial of access to information (including bans on audio/video recording and photography; denials of accreditation; restrictions on visits to or presence at events held in government agencies, at industrial enterprises, in state institutions, etc.) – 18.

Threats against journalists and media – 2 (Yevgeny Vyshenkov, deputy director, Agency of Journalistic Investigations, St. Petersburg; Alexander Lugovskoy, editor, newspaper Ladoga Online, Republic of Karelia).

Ejection of a newspaper, etc. from its premises – 2 (Khakassiya news agency, Abakan; STV network, Moscow Region).

Disruption of TV or radio broadcasts – 1 (STV network, Moscow Region).

Closure of media – 4 (TV shows Kartina Maslom, Sud Vremeni and Programma Peredach – all on Channel Five, St. Petersburg; newspaper Yezhednevniye Novosti, Vladivostok).

Withdrawal, purchase or arrest of print run – 1 (newspaper Spravedlivaya Rossiya, Kursk Region).

Interference with Internet publications – 4 (Khakassiya news agency; Ruleaks.net website; Rospil.info website; website of newspaper Solnechnogorskaya Gazeta, Moscow Region).

Other forms of pressure/infringement of journalists’ rights – 26.


Last week, the Glasnost Defence foundation was referred to at least 10 times in the Internet, including at:



Press Development Institute Siberia holds seminar for human rights activists

The Press Development Institute (PDA) Siberia has held a regular seminar for human rights activists under the programme “I Have the Right…” The seminar reviewed methods of presenting video information while administering civil control or carrying out public investigations.

The seminar’s theme was consonant with the idea of the project “Kirill Mefodyevich” [a hint at the Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs, who invented the Russian alphabet – Translator.], aimed at teaching people the basics of a cameraman’s skills to enable them to shoot independent photo or video reports adding to a comprehensive picture of today’s life in Russia.

The training sessions were held by staff coaches, among them Alexander Rappoport, authorised representative of the Russian Authors’ Society in Siberia; Yuri Trigubovich, observer for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta v Sibiri; Viktor Yukechev, director of PDI Siberia; and Alexei Konovalov, legal expert with the Freedom of Information Development Institute.

In his opening speech, A. Rappoport briefly reviewed different methods of presenting information, with special focus on photography. Referring to photo pictures posted on Russian web blogs, he told the trainees what to pay attention to while taking pictures spontaneously, or in a preplanned manner, or to illustrate some much-discussed topic. He explained in detail how to structure a frame, specified the basic technical requirements, and pointed to the need for observing the photographer’s ethics.

As a practical assignment, the trainees were asked to take photo pictures of anything that they thought might infringe people’s rights or pose a threat to their lives, and make relevant postings to the seminar’s diary. Groups of students presented their mini projects, which the coaches evaluated in terms of how relevantly they conveyed the underlying idea; they also offered recommendations on ways of making photo pictures still more impressing.

Towards the end of the seminar, Y. Trigubovich told the trainees about public investigations conducted in the social network tak-tak-tak.ru and offered them to study the facts of one real investigation. He said he had expected the students to suggest possible solutions but could never have thought those would be as consistent and logical as they turned out to be. That once again showed collective action in defence of journalists’ rights is more effective, Trigubovich said.

The programme is implemented with financial assistance from the USAID and with technical support by the Management Systems International (MSI).



The Glasnost Defence Foundation received the following message from Natalia Novozhilova, a prominent journalist and human rights activist from Vladimir:

“My husband, Alexander Anatolyevich Stepanov, has been beaten up ruthlessly.

“Returning home after work, he had dinner and went to the food store to buy the morning milk for our son. Three unknown men walked up to him near the store asking, ‘You’re Alexander Stepanov, right?’ They looked 25-30 years of age, had Slav faces, were 180-200 cm tall, and were wearing black leather jackets, jeans and winter boots.

“‘That’s me,’ my husband replied. ‘Have we met?’

“‘You’ll get to know us right now,’ they retorted. ‘You better quit acting against United Russia!’

“With those words, they hit him several times on the right side of the head – the temple and eye. Alexander fell down. The attackers started to pull him up to give him a few more blows, and tore his jacket in the process.

“He cried out for the police, and the attackers ran away.

“One of Alexander’s latest postings on the Vladimir chat forum was a comment concerning Mikhail Babich, deputy head of the RF Duma’s Defence Committee and leader of the regional branch of the United Russia party. ‘We don’t want to have you or your likes in the power structures of our city and region. It doesn’t matter where you were born or grew up. It’s just a matter of your party affiliation. You belong to a party that has pursued a policy of genocide in respect of the Russian people. What you’ve been doing has not gone beyond meaningless blabbering on the TV channel you control, with the help of its corrupt head manager.’

“Earlier, Alexander had posted comments criticising the United Russia party and its fawners.

“Alexander was taken to hospital with a concussion and a high temperature.”



The Glasnost Defence Foundation (Moscow) and the International Centre for Journalism (USA, www.icfj.org and http://ijnet.org/ru) invite applications from potential students of a long-distance school for investigative journalists.

This will mark a new stage in a free educational programme to help budding reporters learn the basics of high-quality journalism.

Schools for journalists have already been held in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok; yet another is drawing to a close in Saratov. Full-time education remains available only to residents of large cities and university centres. Journalists working for small provincial and local media – those who make up the majority of Russia’s media workers – often have difficulty in upgrading their professional skills. Long-distance education for investigative journalists (Russ. abbreviation: DOR) targets them in the first place.

The first, pilot, stage of the DOR project will start this spring in the Urals and adjacent regions. Its results will determine whether or not the programme will be rolled out to other territories as well.

We invite public and professional organisations within the media community, investigators and prominent regional journalists to help us find young talent to be recommended for participation in our programme. The main criterion is their readiness to learn while continuing their primary work or studies. Personal initiative is by all means welcome.

Now, what the DOR programme is all about:

  • Total number of students – 25
  • Number of additional students – 5-10
  • Course duration – 14 weeks
  • Form of studies – long-distance, part-time
  • Diploma of a graduate of a university school of journalism – optional


Documents to be submitted for competition:

  • 1. CV or a brief biography;
  • 2. Letter of motivation: why and what for the applicant wants to take the course;
  • 3. A published investigative story or one with elements of investigation, or an unpublished commentary on a topic of public interest;
  • 4. References from the media outlet for which the applicant works; and
  • 5. A note confirming the technical possibility of participation in the programme (Please indicate the type of your PC, whether or not Skype is available, and whether you own a telephone).

Please e-mail your materials to: dor-2011@yandex.ru , indicating your e-mail address for sending you additional tests.

Online lessons will be timed so as to be convenient for the students.

Lectures, practical lessons, and web conferences on the basic methods of independent investigation, languages, ethics, expert opinions, etc. will be delivered by prominent Russian journalists, and experienced lawyers, sociologists and linguists.

  • DOR project director – Alexei SIMONOV, President, Glasnost Defence Foundation (simonov@gdf.ru)
  • Programme manager – journalist Olga ZAKORYUKINA (Yekaterinburg) (dolly51@mail.ru)
  • Master/expert of the Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations – Sergey PLOTNIKOV (sergp55@yandex.ru)



  • Participation in the DOR project is FREE
  • Deadline for submitting materials for competition - February 25, 2011
  • Studies commence in March 2011.


This Digest has been prepared by the Glasnost Defence Foundation (GDF),.


We appreciate the support of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Digest released once a week, on Mondays, since August 11, 2000.
Distributed by e-mail to 1,600 subscribers in and outside Russia.

Editor-in-chief: Alexei Simonov

Editorial board: Boris Timoshenko – Monitoring Service chief, Pyotr Polonitsky – head of GDF regional network, Svetlana Zemskova – lawyer, Vsevolod Shelkhovskoy – translator, Alexander Yefremov – web administrator in charge of Digest distribution.

We would appreciate reference to our organisation in the event of any Digest-sourced information or other materials being used.

Contacts: Glasnost Defence Foundation, 4, Zubovsky Boulevard, Office 432, 119992 Moscow, Russia.
Telephone/fax: (495) 637-4947, 637-4420, e-mail: boris@gdf.ru, fond@gdf.ru


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ФЗГ продолжает бороться за свое честное имя. Пройдя все необходимые инстанции отечественного правосудия, Фонд обратился в Европейский суд. Для обращения понадобилось вкратце оценить все, что Фонд сделал за 25 лет своего существования. Вот что у нас получилось:
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