Kremlin-friendly oligarch Alisher Usmanov has fired two senior managers of the respected Kommersant publishing group over one of its publications’ coverage of alleged violations during the recent Duma elections. Usmanov says he was particularly upset about the publication of a photograph showing an obscene slogan addressed toward Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, which he described as “bordering on petty hooliganism.”
Usmanov fired the general director of the Kommersant-Holding group, Andrei Galiyev, and the editor in chief of the newsweekly “Kommersant-Vlast,” Maksim Kovalsky. In response, the general director of the Kommersant publishing group, Demyan Kudryavtsev, submitted his resignation in protest.
”The reason for my dismissal, as I understand it, was the last issue, in which we covered in detail the elections and a big portion of the materials were about the violations with which the elections were conducted,” Kovalsky told RFE/RL’s Russian Service.
The issue of “Kommersant-Vlast” in question featured a cover with an ominous photograph of Putin in front of a ballot box and the headline: “The victory of the United (Russia) ballot-stuffers. How the elections were falsified. Evidence and eyewitnesses.”