Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk.

The former head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation, Alexander Voloshin, shocked the British public when he admitted that in 2000, on behalf of the then head of state, Vladimir Putin, Boris Berezovsky was removed from the definition of the editorial policy of the country's main television channel. The reason for this was dissatisfaction with how ORT covered the actions of the authorities during the catastrophe of the nuclear submarine Kursk.
Alexander Voloshin, who headed the administration of Vladimir Putin until 2003, appeared in the High Court of London as a witness on the part of Roman Abramovich. The billionaire is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by businessman Boris Berezovsky, who claims $ 5.5 billion in compensation for his stake in Sibneft and Rusal. The plaintiff believes that after his forced flight from Russia, he was subjected to pressure from the defendant, who allegedly forced him to sell blocks of shares at a lower price.Abramovich insists that Berezovsky did not own shares in his business, but received considerable sums from him in exchange for political patronage.
The topic with ORT surfaced at a hearing on Berezovsky’s initiative. His defense claims that, as in the case of Sibneft and Rusal, the entrepreneur was threatened with threats to sell ORT shares. Voloshin did not agree that Berezovsky was forcibly deprived of his property, but admitted that in August 2000 he, at the direction of Putin, took measures to stop the businessman from interfering with the television channel’s editorial policy. Complaints, moreover, at the highest level, caused how ORT covered the death of the Kursk submarine, more precisely, the actions of the authorities in this situation.
In this connection, it is necessary to recall how events developed around the Kursk. The incident on the submarine occurred on the morning of August 12, 2000. The crash killed all 118 crew members. Following the investigation, it was recognized that the submarine sank as a result of two explosions. First, a faulty torpedo exploded in the nose compartment, and then detonated the ammunition located nearby. In minutes, most of the hull of the submarine was destroyed and flooded, and 80 percent of the crew died.
Anything can happen in life, including disasters that occur because of circumstances of insuperable force. However, the behavior of the military and civilian authorities in the case of the Kursk did not really give in to a reasonable explanation. To begin with, the official information about the accident on the submarine was voiced by the Navy press service only on the afternoon of August 14. Then there were reports that the Kursk was contacted, and the crew did not need to leave the submarine immediately and he would be saved. Only on August 19, the command of the Northern Fleet admitted that it was unlikely to rescue the crew.
The confusion added the fact that the first official messages featured the date of the explosion on August 13, that is, one day later than in reality, but already on August 15, information appeared on the Internet that the West had learned about the accident immediately, since the explosions had recorded seismic stations. Nevertheless, on August 17, the headquarters of the Navy refuted information about the explosions and expressed a version of the collision of the "Kursk" with some object.
Meanwhile, on August 15, Great Britain, the United States and France offered help in saving the Russian sailors. However, the next day, Putin said that Russia would conduct a rescue operation on its own.Apparently, nevertheless, some agreement was reached, since by the evening of August 19, British and Norwegian rescuers with a mini-submarine arrived at the crash site. And on August 20, foreign divers managed to get inside the Kursk and found that no one was left alive. On August 22, the Russian government recognized that the death of the crew was already known on August 14, but then they did not consider it necessary to talk about it until documentary confirmation was received. As a result, it turned out that most of the crew died almost immediately after the explosions. And only two dozen submariners that reached the 9th compartment lasted about 12 hours.
Frank lies, distortions and reservations by officials aggravated the behavior of the head of state. Putin at the time of the disaster was on vacation in Sochi. On the incident with the "Kursk" he reported on the morning of August 13. But the president interrupted his vacation only five days later. He explained that he wanted to go to the accident site himself, but then changed his mind, since he considered that his presence would only hinder the actions of the professionals.
In early September 2000, Putin arrived in New York for an international meeting organized by the UN. There he was interviewed by the famous American television journalist Larry King.Answering the question of the host, what happened to the Russian submarine, the president responded concisely: "She drowned." Although this phrase provoked the most significant reaction, mostly indignant, but it is worth noting that after uttering it, Putin then gave a detailed response to Kursk.
According to the then president, the rescue operation unfolded immediately as soon as it became known about the accident. Then King asked Putin about why Russia did not immediately turn to foreign countries for help. He replied that, on the one hand, the fleet had all the necessary means of salvation, but they were not enough. On the other hand, according to Putin, an appeal to foreign rescuers would still not play any role, since it took them five days to get to the crash site, which, in any case, was too late to save people.
In addition, Putin acknowledged that, from the point of view of PR, he should have interrupted his vacation and returned to Moscow as soon as he learned about the accident at Kursk. But the president explained that "these would be actions designed for public opinion," since in reality he can rule the country from any place in Russia.
It is in such conditions that ORT very harshly criticized the actions of officials, the military, and Putin himself.The latter, in turn, was indignant at the fact that they tried to use the death of "Kursk" for political purposes. On August 23, the president gave an interview to RTR, where he stated that "those people who had contributed to the collapse of the army, navy and state for a long time stood up to protect the sailors." "Some of them even collected a million each. With a world of thread - a bare shirt. It would be better if they sold their villas on the Mediterranean coast of France or Spain," Putin said at the time. Berezovsky unequivocally linked the statement of the head of state with the fact that two days before that he had told about the initiative of businessmen who, without waiting for a sluggish state, had collected over a million dollars for the widows of the dead submariners.
As a result, Berezovsky was summoned to the presidential administration, and Voloshin told him that "the concert was over." According to the former high-ranking official, in that situation it was unacceptable that a well-known entrepreneur and politician allow himself to do PR on the tragedy of Kursk. Voloshin recalled that the influence of Berezovsky was informal and based on personal relationships with journalists and the director general of ORT, Konstantin Ernst.On August 22, 2000, in the presidential administration, the shareholder of the TV channel was told that he no longer dare give instructions on how to broadcast certain events on the air.
Berezovsky wanted to hear Putin’s opinion personally. According to Voloshin, the president agreed to a short meeting that took place on August 23 and was very emotional on both sides. The former head of the administration did not dwell on what specific emotions his patron showed, but he acknowledged that Putin was greatly annoyed by the situation with the Kursk on ORT.
Sergey Dorenko in the author's program about "Kursk" on September 2, 2000
The technical side of the removal of Berezovsky from the management of the TV channel Voloshin described simply. Following the meeting, he informed the ORT Director General that he no longer had to obey Berezovsky’s instructions. “Ernst, I can say, was happy,” added Voloshin. He explained that the information was communicated to all journalists from Berezovsky’s pool. According to him, difficulties arose only with Sergey Dorenko, who made another transmission, in fact accusing Putin of the death of Kursk. After that, the host was removed from the air, and he was able to return to television only ten years later.
It would be naive to think that Berezovsky would immediately disappear into the shadows only on the basis of a conversation with Voloshin and Putin. After Boris Yeltsin left the presidency, the businessman lost political weight, but tried to restore it at any price. By July 2000, Berezovsky had consolidated significant media assets in his hands, which he intended to merge into a single holding. In particular, two channels - ORT and TV-6, the newspaper Kommersant, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the magazine Ogonek and Our Radio were to enter the new structure. Already in early August, even before the Kursk story, there were rumors that the Russian authorities demanded that the entrepreneur transfer his stake in ORT to the state to pay off the television channel’s debts.
In early September, Berezovsky sent a letter to Putin informing him that he had decided to transfer his shares to the joint management of journalists and representatives of the creative intelligentsia. The entrepreneur motivated his decision by wanting to keep at least one independent federal TV channel in Russia after the owner of NTV Vladimir Gusinsky was forced to sell the company to Gazprom andleave the country.
The story of the change of ownership of NTV also unfolded so rich in events in the summer of 2000. In June, Gusinsky was arrested on charges of fraud. He spent several days at Butyrka, and on July 20 he signed an agreement on the cession of all his media assets to Gazprom. Gusinsky later noted that these documents were actually signed “at gunpoint”.
The analogies with Gusinsky Berezovsky remembered just after a conversation with Voloshin. It was at that time that he began to assert that the presidential administration demanded that he transfer the package of ORT shares, warning that otherwise he would be treated the same way as the owner of NTV. The businessman adheres to the same position and is now in court against Abramovich in London.
Soon after Berezovsky’s open clash with Putin, his media empire collapsed. In November 2000, he announced his intention to leave Russia, stressing that this was due to "ever-increasing pressure from the authorities." By this time, Berezovsky was summoned to the prosecutor's office in the case of embezzlement at Aeroflot, for which he eventually received six years in prison in 2007.The sentence, of course, was by correspondence, since Berezovsky had already firmly established himself in the UK. At parting in 2000, Berezovsky revealed that it was he who financed Putin’s first election campaign, and this was done through Swiss firms that accumulated Aeroflot’s currency earnings, the very companies involved in the theft case.
After going abroad, Berezovsky found it difficult to control Russian assets. By the beginning of 2001, he nevertheless had to sell his stake in ORT to Abramovich. By the end of 2001, by a court decision, another TV channel belonging to Berezovsky, TV-6, was closed. After that, he could no longer use Russian television to express his position.
Of course, ORT, TV-6 and NTV were not truly independent TV channels in the sense that this is understood in the West. They had to take into account the opinion of their owners, their financial and political ambitions. But in today's monotonous television space, the absence of federal channels reflecting different points of view is especially noticeable. Everyone can see this for themselves by asking themselves the question when he last turned on the TV.

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  • Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk

    Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk Voloshin was disturbed by the ghost of the sunken Kursk