100 years since the first Pravda – “freest publication in the Soviet Union”

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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16th May, 2012 Leave a Comment

One hundred years ago this month, the Russian newspaper Pravda (“Truth”) was born. So closely was the paper aligned with the government that Russians would joke that the only part of the paper worth reading was a death notice – and only then if it was on the front page.

The demise of the Soviet Union meant the demise of its establishment newspaper, but it was succeeded by a small print newspaper (see the Reuters report here) and a website hoping to keep its values alive. Pravda.ru was founded, it explains in a piece marking the anniversary, “as a result of the tragic end of the ‘mouthpiece of the Kremlin’”.

A plaything of the party? Never, writes Marina Arapidi for Pravda.ru.

The former employees of the newspaper, or the Pravdaists, as they call themselves, say that their newspaper was the freest publication in the Soviet Union.

It is put better by Vladimir Gubarev, a former science editor quoted by Pravda.ru. He says:

Pravda was like a mirror – it was reflecting time. It was the Soviet time – the great, the tragic, the miserable and the outstanding time. One only needs to understand that. Pravda had the people who’d jail others and who’d be jailed. Pravda had the people who’d execute others and be executed. One can not judge the past from the point of view of the present.

But many of those old-fashioned Pravda values are alive and well at Pravda.ru.

Headlines being promoted on the site’s front page now:

Russia’s renewed space drive

Putin: I consider it to be my life mission to serve my motherland

The US Quest for Encircling Russia

And simply:

Fascist America

A taste of that last piece, by Lisa Karpova:

What did the USSR do when it was at the zenith of its power? Built schools, hospitals and infrastructure, provided education and assisted those who sought to free themselves from colonial oppression.

What does the USA do? Steal people’s resources. Leave them in abject poverty, destitution and a destabilized situation. Usually there is no clean water, no electricity, there are violent gangs attacking the vulnerable and innocent …

The USA is absolutely corrupt. It has become a fascist monstrosity, a predator, a lawless aggressor. Contrary to their personal belief, might does not make right and you do not produce freedom and democracy out of the barrel of a gun, the urine of a pervert, the bombs of a video game warrior, the sodomy of some sick psychopath …

The world community must demand that the opposing power void be filled by the true, just democratic entities of the world. Seeing as the monster only understands the stick, be prepared to use it.

More by Toby Manhire

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