Roland Oliphant at Russia Profile has tracked down Chris Anderson to talk about the controversial GQ censorship. I am here in Brussels with Karinna Moskalenko, whom will probably have some commentary for me to publish tomorrow.
Anderson described that as a cop-out. “This seems to be the party line that is being adopted by those defending the Russia government,” he said. “Certainly, these accusations or suspicions about the ’99 bombings have been floating around out there for a long time, but what is new is that, for the first time, a major international news magazine has decided to look at this issue in depth.” He also rejected Uskov’s assumption that the stories were already in the public domain. “I also strongly doubt that most of the issues I raise in the article are common knowledge to the average Russian person, since very few Russian media outlets have ever written about this period at all other than to quote official government sources,” he added.
So why bury a relevant story? Anderson himself is skeptical that the publisher is reacting to a specific request from the Russian authorities. “I strongly doubt that anyone told Conde Nast not to publish the article,” he said. “Rather, I think they acted preemptively and that the steps they took to minimize the article’s impact were done for a mixture of legal and economic reasons.”