Better dead than read: Putin affair paper shut

April 27, 2008 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Vladimir Putin hands flowers to Alina Kabayeva after awarding her with an Order of Friendship in  2001.Vladimir Putin hands flowers to Alina Kabayeva after awarding her with an Order of Friendship in 2001.
Photo: AFP

April 21, 2008


The Russian newspaper that reported Russian President Vladimir Putin had left his wife for a 24-year-old former rhythmic gymnast has shut down.

The Moskovsky Korrespondent reported last week that Putin had walked out on his 50-year-old wife, Ludmilla, and was set to wed 24-year-old Alina Kabaeva. As well as being a gymnast, Kabaeva was a model and actress before becoming a Russian MP.

The Korrespondent closed on Friday, raising concerns about press freedom in Russia, said The Moscow Times.

“We proved that Russia is not a democracy,” said Igor Dudinsky, first deputy editor of Moskovsky Korrespondent, according to the Times website.

But Artyom Artyomov, the head of National Media Company – which publishes the Korrespondent – denied it had been shut down on political grounds, the Times said.

“There is no question about any political background for the decision to suspend the newspaper’s publication,” he said. “We will decide on a new direction for the newspaper and a business plan for its development in the near future.”

Dudinsky, a veteran journalist and former dissident, responded: “Even a simpleton would understand that it won’t re-open in the next 10 years. I think Putin got very angry.”

He said he was glad to have published the story.

“We let the genie out of the bottle. I am glad and feel proud.”

Putin on Friday denied claims he planned to marry Kabayeva, a current Russian MP, the paper said. “There is not one word of truth in what you have said. I have always reacted negatively to those who, with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies, prowl into others’ lives,” Putin said.

Oleg Panfilov, Director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations in Moscow, said the case was an example of the Kremlin pressuring the media.

“The authorities want to hector the yellow press here into not writing the kind of things the yellow press usually writes about in the rest of the world,” he told the Times.



1 Comment

  1. The Democratic Piece » Fallout From Putin Affair Rumor said,

    […] MP. Putin denied the probably false rumor, but the newspaper was shut down days later because of “funding problems.” It is not hard to imagine that this amendment may even be in response to the irresponsible story of […]

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