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About unscrupulous journalists, or “under the spreading cranberry tree”
Written by Светлана Губарева   
Пятница, 06 Апрель 2007

Идеи правят миром, мир погубят неправильные толклвания идей…When people in Russia wish to describe a false report that demonstrates the ignorance of the one who is speaking, they use the expression: «a spreading cranberry». D. N. Ushakov’s Explanatory Dictionary of Russian Language states that this expression “came from a description of Russia by a superficial French author, in which he wrote that he sat under the shadow of majestic cranberry”.

Here are several examples.

I will not speak about the confusion during these events, or about mistakes made in names, surnames, or addresses of the victims. Today I wish to talk about something else: about unscrupulous journalists.

Extraordinary events give rise to a mass of rumors. One of such event was the seizure of hostages in the theatrical center on Dubrovka in October of 2002.

On October 23rd, 2003, Dmitry Ivolga in an article on the anniversary of ‘Nord-Ost’ surprised me with details about the memorial at Dubrovka:

By a former hostage who lost her family at ‘Nord-Ost’,

Svetlana Gubareva

Dear journalists! Your words influence public opinion. I earnestly beg, that if you cannot help us, then at least DO NOT INTERFERE.

I wrote letters to the sites in the Krasnodarsk region that had published this news, but only received an answer from the chief editor of the Yuga.ru web portal. Mr. Smertin wrote that they were “ready to correct information on the site if you can enumerate in order those moments that do not correspond with reality”. Despite twice sending him letters with detailed descriptions of the distortions, these words still remain but a promise.

And, finally, a little about phraseology and style: I do not know what the journalist was guided by, when he wrote about the presumed publishing of a “jubilee book”. The word ‘jubilee’ is associated with the word ‘celebration’. But how can one celebrate the anniversary of a tragedy? Am I supposed to rejoice that they murdered my family, robbed me of my future and my hopes of a happy old age? I would like to receive an answer to this question from the author.

5. in December of last year the memorial site http://www.nord-ost.org was created; aside from the story of the tragedy, we also wish to create a Memorial Book, which will tell about each of the 130 who died there. Judging from the letters by the relatives and friends of the dead, many of them approve and support this idea. We will try to ensure that the electronic version of the Memorial Book will have a hard copy version: in the US a book was published describing each of the almost 3000 who died on September 11th.

4. the initiating group that wrote the report really did travel to several cities in Russia, however, the goal of these travels was a desire to acquaint citizens of Russia with our report, and to recount details of what went on;

3. almost a year ago (April 26th, 2006) a report was published, titled “Nord-Ost — Investigation Incomplete”, which includes a collection of documents that directly describe the act of terror, as well as the investigation conducted by the Moscow city prosecutor’s office (an electronic version of this report was published on several web sites, including our site at http://www.nord-ost.org). I was one of the co-authors, but was NOT an initiator in the writing of this book;

2. the “initiating group of co-authors” did NOT ever arrive in Kuban;

1. we were NOT planning to seek out former hostages in order to “assemble the recollections of all eyewitnesses” and, accordingly, release a book this year that was the fruit of this journalist’s imagination;

One would think that the author of this ‘news’ could have found out our plans before writing about them. Then I could have told him that:

On the eve of the anniversary of the act of terror at ‘Nord-Ost’, relatives of dead hostages are planning to release a book based on the real events. It will include the story of four Krasnodar residents, the physicians at Krasnodar Hospital #2, Vladislav Ponomarev and Oleg Magerlamov, and the married couple Eduard and Irina Solonin.” (Southern Federal Region, Krasnodar-info).

And so this ‘news’ flew from site to site (with links to Yuga.ru), growing larger and larger with new ‘details’:

…As an initiator of the jubilee book, Karaganda resident Svetlana Gubareva spoke…

…On the eve of the anniversary, ‘Nord-Ost’ hostages and relatives of the dead are preparing to release a book based on real events. The authors plan to assemble the recollections of all eyewitnesses, which for them is no easy task – seeking out former hostages or their loved ones dispersed throughout the entire country. As reported by the newspaper ‘Kubanskie Novosti’, the initiating group of co-authors arrived in Kuban where some ‘Nord-Ost’ witnesses live…

This year, 2007, the “spreading cranberry tree” season has begun in the Krasnodar region. The Internet information portal Yuga.ru a month ago had a link to the newspaper ‘Kubanskie Novosti’ with this factoid: “A book about the act of terror at ‘Nord-Ost’ includes the recollections of Krasnodar residents”. Unfortunately, I was never able to view the original article in ‘Kubanskie Novosti’ (their site is temporarily down), so I will only discuss what I read on Yuga.ru’s web site:

It is a mystery as to what she based her conclusion on, since in the text of her article Ms. Semenova quoted the words of T. I. Karpova, who stated: “our organization has no political ambitions”.

2005 marked the “spreading” of yet another “cranberry”. On October 24th ‘Novye Izvestiya’ published an article by journalist Oksana Semenova, titled: “They have nothing to lose: Relatives of terror victims to unite into a political party”. Ms. Semenova even thought up a name for this party: “…it is possible they will call it ‘Mothers of Russia’.

So, what newspapers does Ms. Latynina read, and what radio stations does she listen to? If she does not know what happened at ‘Nord-Ost’, perhaps it is because she does not want to know?

In 2004 and 2005 courts heard complaints about the actions, and inactions, of the Moscow city prosecutor’s office. It is no secret to anyone that not all the media continues to report on what went on during the investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy in Moscow, but, nonetheless, some did. Here are just a few examples of articles describing our struggle: articles in ‘News of Russia’ and in ‘Novaya Gazeta’ (#84 & #85 for 2004, #20 & #28 for 2005), in ‘Kommersant’, ‘Agentura’, and ‘Grani.ru’ (in 2004 and 2005), and on radio ‘Echo of Moscow’.

…in Moscow the investigation of the ‘Nord-Ost’ case, and the question as to what happened there, has been changed into lawsuits against the Moscow city government by the famous attorney, Igor Trunov.

Beginning of September of 2005:

“…there are no ‘Nord-Ost’ hearings because the hundreds of Russians who were sitting in the auditorium, who by accident converged on ‘Nord-Ost’, whose relatives died, whose children died, who… well, who can’t manage to unite, they don’t know where to begin. And there are no ‘Nord-Ost’ hearings at all. The ‘Nord-Ost’ court case has turned into Trunov’s lawsuits against the Moscow city government for monetary compensation. We don’t know what happened to ‘Nord-Ost’.

End of August of 2005:

In her broadcasts on radio station “Echo of Moscow”, Yulia Latynina addressed the following to us:

We really had appealed to the mayor of Moscow with a request to place a memorial plaque on the monument, but a commission set up on orders of the Moscow city government “decided it to be inexpedient to include the names of the dead in the text of the inscription on the monument’s sign”. Nonetheless, after an appeal to the Russian president, a memorial plaque with a list of names was placed, though not on the monument, but on the theater building. So far as reality diverges somewhat from what was presented in his article, one might fairly conclude that Mr. Ivolga never bothered to visit the site of the tragedy.

“…on the site of the tragedy, which overturned Russians’ notions of modern life, a monument dedicated to the victims of this act of terror was set up. The seven-meter high granite marker, on which are engraved the names of all who died there, was prepared at the request of their relatives.


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  Comments (5)
1. Норд-Ост
Written by люба, on 12-04-2007 08:29
Добрый день!

Честно говоря комментировать статью о неаккуратности журналистов у меня не было желания — уж слишком часто они в погоне за новостями забывают о тонкости темы к которой они прикасаются — В случае с «Норд-Остом» это не редкость.- пять лет после трагедии немалый срок. Но сегодняшний выпад неуважаемой госпожи Латыниной по поводу британских моряков — явно поставил крест на ее адекватности и как журналиста и как человека.

Начну с того, что я думала, что госпожа Латынина сравнит действия британского правительства по освобождению заложников с российскими в аналогичных кризисных ситуациях — т. е., расскажет что англичане не побоялись обратиться к другим государствам (даже не очень дружественным) за содействиям по освобождению заложников и при этом не потеряли имидж страны (тогда как на «Курске» искали вражеские подлодки и отказались от помощи по спасению 118 своих моряков), напишет, что первые лица Британии не переставали говорить о необходимости дипломатического решения и уж никак не спешили «жесткую» реакцию на захват превратить в силовую акцию (газовую атаку или штурм, как в Норд-Осте и Беслане) и наконец позавидует британцам, что на переговоры с захватчиками был отправлен ведущий министр, а не известный певец или доктор, (как на Дубровке), те, кто никаких государственных решений не принимают.
2. продолжение…
Written by люба, on 12-04-2007 08:34
В общем позавидует, что жизнь британца (в отличие от россиянина) «дорогого» стоит.
При этом авторитет Англии на международной арене не «пострадал» (прокуратура России считает, что победа на Дубровке — 130 жизней «позволила обеспечить авторитет России на международной арене») от такого финала: Весь мир вздохнул радостно- 15 юных жизней удалось сохранить.
3. продолжение…
Written by люба, on 12-04-2007 08:38
Но госпожа Латынина рассудила по-другому: осудила британские власти, моряков — первых, что силой не отбили своих — не устроив «маленькую войнушку» с Ираном, вторых — за признания нарушения (как будто — их признания что-то значат в международном конфликте при отсутствии признания правительством), но самое главное — восхитилась теми блондинами — офицерами,кто в Катаре совершил преступление — убийство (а разве были сомнения в их причастности) и были отпущены на Родину после личного звонка президента Путина — в этом случае гарант посчитал уместным переговоры (и Катар пошел на переговоры о сохранении жизни террористам) — Жизнь и двух человек бесценна, это правда, но почему это неприменимо к тем 130, кто был задушен в газовой камере…
4. продолжение…
Written by люба, on 12-04-2007 08:44
…Как понять заявление этого же гаранта во время «Норд-Оста» — «никаких переговоров с террористами»?

Может Латынина разъяснит детали, почему террористы — в Катаре «весят» больше чем заложники Дубровки.

За Вами Слово, Латынина.
5. ferty
Written by Явдей website, on 21-04-2010 22:56
Мдам, не предполагал что так все печально.

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