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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Putin Silences Last Independent Media Outlet in Russia

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On July 7, 2001, Alice Lagnado, Moscow correspondent for the on-line Times in London, reported that Vladimir Putin has “heralded a return to the authoritarianism of the Cold War era yesterday when he finally succeeded in silencing the last independent voice in the country’s national media.”

Lagnado was referring to the Ekho Moskvy radio station, which she describes as “a lone voice of dissent from the state controlled Russian media.” The silencing was accomplished using the same techniques of “debt collection” used to silence NTV, the last independent TV network in Russia. The “debt collection” was conducted by Gazprom, “the powerful Kremlin backed gas monopoly” which seems to have its fingers in all the major Russian media. Gazprom was allowed to seize control of the station after a Moscow court conveniently ruled that it could acquire more shares in the station than it already had, giving Gazprom total control.

According to Oleg Panfilov, a media commentator, “The Government has made it its aim to silence all media that still have the courage to criticize it and they are doing it systematically. There is no place for a radio station like Ekho Moskvy any more.”

The Times piece notes that “the end of Ekho Moskvy is the clearest signal yet from President Putin that he intends to lead Russia back into the era when those who disagreed with the Government were swiftly purged. Mr. Putin’s authoritarianism is a little more refined. Instead of sending Mr. Venediktov and his colleagues to a labor camp, he has strangled them with red tape.”

The Times further notes that “Gazprom has already taken over NTV, formerly Russia’s main private television channel, and closed down the influential Sevodnya newspaper and the Itogi news magazine.” It was no surprise that NTV, now a Putin puppet, provided no coverage of the Ekho Moskvy takeover.

This, then, is the “conversion of Russia” which the Fatima revisionists and professional Gruner-bashers would have us believe is the result of the non-consecration of Russia 17 years ago. Not only is there no religious conversion — which is, after all, what Our Lady came to promise — but even the vaunted “conversion” to “democracy” is a sham.

Now it must be said: Those who peddle the lie that Russia has been consecrated in the manner Our Lady of Fatima requested are not only guilty of blindness, but will stand convicted of criminal negligence before the bar of history. That includes the Vatican bureaucrats who have created this debacle by advising the Pope to consecrate anyone and anything but Russia. May God help them.