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Mikhail Gorbachev brands reshuffle at Echo of Moscow as a "slap in face"

February 15, 2012, 11:38 UTC+3

Gorbachev does not doubt that the reshuffle was sanctioned by the Kremlin

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WASHINGTON, February 15 (Itar-Tass) — Ex- president of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the coming reshuffle in the management of the Echo of Moscow radio station, calling it "a slap in the face of public opinion".

In his interview to Radio Liberty Gorbachev said that "People appreciate it (Echo of Moscow, eds ITAR-TASS) and read and listen [to it] on the Internet. This is such arrogance!" Gorbachev continuted by saying that he does not doubt that this reshuffle was sanctioned by the Kremlin. "This is shameful for the whole country, for all of society," he told Radio Free Europe.

In an interview to Radio Liberty on Tuesday Gorbachev said he was ashamed of what was going on in his country. Gorbachev presumes this step was sanctioned by the Russian authorities who are "to lose much more than the journalists who are, on the contrary, to gain."

Gorbachev confirmed his apprehensions that Novaya Gazeta, which has Mikhail Gorbachev as a shareholder might face a similar threat. "I warn beforehand that I will defend the newspaper," Gorbachev warned. There might be different variants of the response - not merely oral ones, but actions might be undertaken, Gorbachev said. Although the last word in his phrase was not heard distinctly, there was no doubt that he meant to respond by deeds, rather than words.

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