, Media Most’s creator, with charges whose flimsiness makes them all the more frightening.

Gusinsky’s businesses were raided in May. He was jailed for four days in June on retrospective charges of illegal possession of a handgun. He was allowed to travel abroad after he agreed to transfer his NTV holdings to Gazprom, the gas monopoly in which the Russian state has the largest interest. He went to Spain and completed the deal with Gazprom from there.

But his media grip is not yet thoroughly broken. That is why Gusinsky, who once kept a year-round suite at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, is spending his nights in a jail near Madrid. Spanish authorities earlier this month executed an Interpol warrant for Gusinsky’s arrest on charges of fraud brought by Russia’s prosecutor-general. Extradition proceedings are under way. And earlier this week Moscow city tax authorities went to court to have Media Most and its principal subsidiaries declared bankrupt.

The second target is ORT, a national television network in which