Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 32

The no. 36 (September 6) issue of the weekly Obshchaya Gazeta contains an article by journalist Irina Dement’eva, entitled “The Obvious Is Becoming Secret,” in which she discusses the strained relations that have developed between FSB director Nikolai Patrushev and journalist Valery Yakov of the newspaper Novye Izvestia. Patrushev, she writes, “became so insulted at our colleague Valery Yakov, that he sued Novye Izvestia in defense of his honor and dignity.” “Yakov, who is a serious journalist” she noted, “published in his newspaper a remark under the title ‘Patrushev Remembered about Chechnya.’ In it he expressed irony over the fact that the head of the agency which has been charged with heading up the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya, had convoked a meeting of the power ministers at a health resort in Essentuki [Stavropol Krai] and not in Grozny or Gudermes. Valery Yakov also expressed surprise that the director of the FSB had been promoted to the rank of general of the army even though he had not achieved any noteworthy successes in the struggle with terrorism.” Ten days after the announcement of the threatened lawsuit, however, Dement’eva remarked, it appears that Patrushev has decided to “swallow” Yakov’s words and to do nothing. Moreover, she added, what Yakov wrote about the FSB director was quite mild compared to what has just appeared in the book, “The FSB Is Blowing Up Russia,” fragments of which were published in the no. 61 issue of Novaya Gazeta (see Chechnya Weekly, September 6).