Few and far between are the opportunities for opposition politicians to have a platform on Russia’s state-tun television (or Russia’s state-run streets, it would seem). Nonetheless, Channel One’s Vladimir Pozner has apparently committed to previously mentioned plans to invite Solidarity co-leader Boris Nemtsov to his talkshow in March, and claims he would consider inviting liberal commentator Valeriya Novodvorskaya, and even Kremlin adversary Garry Kasparov. It seems however that the potential guests hold no illusions about the nature of the interviews. From the Other Russia:
Nemtsov said he expects the piece to be a fluff interview that would avoid any controversial topics. “I think the questions are going to be posed in such a way as to follow the general outline of the channel,” he said. “They’ll be about my health; my children.”
Kasparov has voiced greater cynicism:
“It’s pointless to comment on Posner’s routine, seasonal promises,”Kasparov responded. “This isn’t the first time we’re hearing them. If Iget an invitation, then I’ll go. It’s interesting that ‘squeamish’Posner doesn’t want to see Limonov on his show. On the other hand, he’sexpanding his list with Novodvorskaya, ‘the boogieman of Russianliberalism.’ But has he heard of the names of [liberal blogger Alexei]Navalny or [Left Front leader] Udaltsov? Or does he not watch anythingother than Channel One?”
Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky sees Posner’s promise to inviteoppositionists on his show as a manifestation of “Perestroika 2″ – acontinuation of processes that began in 2010, when it becameunfashionable for members of the more glamorous portions of Russiansociety to be associated with the government.
“This is a mature stage of protest, in which people who have spokenout against Khodorkovsky are beginning to speak out in favor of him orredact their objections,” the analyst explained. “Perestroika begins notwhen dissidents come out against the system, but when people who wererecently loyal to the government come over to its moral and politicalopposition, like the Komsomol workers did in the ’80s.”
To learn more about Pozner’s fractious relationship with Eduard Limonov, read the whole article here.