Freedom of speech under Vladimir Putin: what has been achieved, the Russian society for 17 years?

By the early 80-ies of the last century in the Soviet society louder started talking about reforms. One of the demands was the abolition of censorship in culture and media. The response of governments to it was the so-called transparency process, which has been removed almost all information barriers.

However, the «Golden age» of freedom of speech in Russia today, the opposition believes the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. In the liberal environment popular to compare modern Russian legislation, simultaneously nostalgic about the post-perestroika period. But how really things were in the 90s, and what exactly does not suit the opposition today?

Most eloquently about freedom of speech in the post-perestroika period, said Valeria Novodvorskaya, once one of the most prominent opposition figures. In the magazine «New times» she on the items listed as young reformers «took care of» one of the fundamental values of democratic society.

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So, in 1994, a nationally-known mouthpiece of glasnost, the magazine «Ogonek» was bought by the oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Immediately after this edition has gone any mention of the war in Chechnya, for which the owner was directly involved. Another well-known figure of the period, Yegor Gaidar, was deprived of funding the newspaper «Owner», which is not too flattering comments about the results of the work of his master. In those same years a number of publications were bought by oligarchs and politicians, who began to dictate to journalists what to write.

Many public men of that period noted that with the collapse of the Soviet Union censorship has returned, just it was in private hands. In this regard, the famous Soviet inventor and writer Yuri Mukhin emphasized that the private media should not mention the freedom of speech, as they follow the position of the owner. As you can see, even the opposition politicians critical of the «free 90s». As such they were considered exclusively foreign publications and organizations.

Curiously, and the opinion of ordinary Russians. For example, according to FOM, in 2000-m to year 57% of the population declared full freedom of speech in Russia. The majority of them said that she even unnecessary. The same opinion was held and 66% of Russian experts at the time. In the future, polls by the Levada Center showed that under the presidency of Vladimir Putin ROS indicator percent of Russians fully satisfied with the freedom of speech in Russia.

Well about the critics of freedom of speech in Russia, spoke in an interview for the BBC’s Vladimir Pozner, another icon of modern opposition: «tell me, my existence is freedom of speech? And Vladimir Solovyov — it’s not freedom of speech? And Savik Shuster? Would you like to he the President’s mother? Is, in your opinion, freedom of speech?» Moreover, Posner gave an example, and freedom of speech in the United States: «who in Russia, show me put, who was arrested, who was expelled for freedom of speech? When the war started in Iraq, my good friend, the famous American journalist, made an ironic passage about the victory of America in this war. He was kicked out. Supposedly because it’s not Patriotic».

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According to experts, criticism of Russia by the West are connected with different relationship of society to the freedom of speech. As mentioned above, more than one third of Russians believed that the country’s freedom of the press is excessive. Simply stated this position was expressed by Dmitry Medvedev who said that Russia does not need the publicity and freedom of speech. This implies that respecting the right of citizens to freely voice their thoughts, we should not forget about others.

Really, the only complaint of the opposition to Vladimir Putin on this issue is that the initiatives and decrees are intended to bring order to the media and to protect society from the flow of mud, lies and abuse by irresponsible journalists and politicians. And polls indicate that the vast majority of Russians understand this and support it.

Freedom of speech under Vladimir Putin: what has been achieved, the Russian society for 17 years? 29.09.2017

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