Moskovsky komsomolets chief editor Pavel Gusev has publicly apologized to defense minister Pavel Grachev for the campaign his paper has conducted against him over the past year. Appearing jointly with Grachev on Moscow TV, Gusev said that he regretted if MK’s articles had offended the minister. Grachev had sued MK for defamation but refused to appear as a witness in courtroom and was subpoenaed by the court to appear this week. The gesture raises the possibility that Grachev may drop the case. (8)
The MK-Grachev confrontation dates back to the October 1994 assassination of the paper’s reporter Dmitri Kholodov, who was investigating high-level corruption in Army. MK implied that Grachev had connived in the murder and went on to engage in relentless personal attacks on him and his Defense Ministry camarilla. In the process it also turned the Kholodov case into a public relations plus for the paper. The crime remains unresolved.
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