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There is No Truth in Pravda

Is there a more ridiculous publication on the face of the earth than the Russian “newspaper” Pravda? You be the judge.

There is an old Soviet joke.  “Pravda” is the Russian word for “truth” and there is was also a newspaper in Soviet times called Izvestiya which is the Russian word for “information.” The joke was:  “There is no truth in Izvestiya and there is no information in Pravda.” These publications were instruments of the Soviet state, reporting lies and propaganda to the people of the country so they could be better controlled and managed, like sheep.

On March 20, 2013, the Pravda.ru website published an op-ed piece from Oleg Artyukov. No information of any kind is supplied by Pravda about Mr. Artryukov’s background or qualifications.

In the article, Artyukov stated: “Noteworthy [sic], there was not too much controversy about Brewington in U.S. media not to mention the fact that he was not represented as a victim of political persecution.”

This was an out-and-out lie.

Dan Brewington was arrested in Indiana in March 2011 for threatening on his blog to light a judge on fire, specifically the judge who was presiding over Brewington’s divorce trial and who had found Brewington unfit to have custody of his children.  Brewington was tried and sentenced to five years in prison for violating the State of Indiana’s law against doing such things. (One can’t help but observe that, indeed, a man who publicly threatens to light a judge on fire may well not be an ideal parent.)

The judge felt so threatened that he took precautions, including removing a gun that had long been in storage and and taking a training course to use it. He also installed a home-security system and received law-enforcement escorts to and from work. Artyukov didn’t report any of these facts.

Not too much controversy?!?  Exactly the opposite is true.

Easily discovered national press reports show that a vast and powerful coalition of journalists and legal scholars has rallied to the defense of Brewington and is seeking to argue his case before the Indiana Supreme Court.  The coalition is led by Eugene Volkh who blogs at the Volkh Conspiracy.  Volkh was born, ironically, in Ukraine and is a world-famous constitutional scholar and a former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The coalition argues that the Indiana law on which Brewington’s conviction is based is invalid because it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Artyukov is, quite simply, a shameless neo-Soviet liar. He’s misreporting on Brewington for a simple reason, too:  He wants to justify the harsh neo-Soviet crackdown now underway in Russia at the orders of proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin.

Artyukov also fails to mention the fact that the law involved in Brewington’s case is the law of just one of the fifty American states. Unlike Russia, the USA operates under a system of federalism which allows individual states enormous power.  In Russia, Putin’s crackdown is based on national legislation from which local governments, over which Putin exercises total control anyway, can’t depart.

Artyukov lies about what Brewington said to the judge, characterizing his remarks as mere “harsh words” and “expressing his attitude.”

Artyukov dishonestly compares Brewington to Savva Terentyev.  Terentyev didn’t write  blog post like Brewington. He wrote a comment on the blog of someone else.  Terentyev did not threaten any individual person, he said he hated the police generally and that “bad cops” should get capital punishment.  And Terentyev was responding to a whole litany of instances of brutally abusive, murderous behavior by Russian law enforcement figures, which culminated in the arrest, torture and murder of attorney Sergei Magnitsky.

Then Artyukov dishonestly compares Brewington’s judge to Olga Borovkova, the magistrate who repeatedly handed out tough jail sentences to leaders of the opposition movement on purely political grounds.  Artyukov claims it is the same as threatening to light her on fire that opposition activists “plastered photos of the judge near her house and her work place.”  No threats of violence were ever made against Borovkova, there have been no reports that she fears for her life, and nobody suggests that Brewington’s judge in any way ever involved himself in the political process.

Artyukov concludes: “So, in the United States, a person can be sentenced to a real prison term for threatening or insulting the authorities on the Internet. In Russia, both criminal and administrative liability is provided for similar offense. However, the trials that have taken place on this issue in the country ended up with conditional sentences. ”

In making this statement, Artyukov totally perverts and lies about what Brewington did. He did not “insult” an “authority” he threatened to light a specific judge on fire.  He claims Russia doesn’t punish offenders too seriously, but he can’t mention a single example of any American blogger being arrested at all, much less punished, for generalized political speech of any kind.  Nor does he mention the litany of murders of reporters and activists like Galina Starovoitova, Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova, Stanislav Markelov and Sergei Magnitsky that have occurred in Russia year after year.

Artyukov’s column is exactly the type you would have expected in Soviet times, and it reminds you to ask:  How is it possible that people in Russia in 2013 still pay attention to a paper bearing a Soviet name and written in a Soviet style? Imagine such a thing happening in Germany in regard to a former Nazi institution!  There is only one possible answer:  Russians are far more supportive of the Soviet system than many ever dreamed possible.

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39 responses to “There is No Truth in Pravda

  1. markos parakyrkos ⋅

    Greece and Cyprus are being punished for commerical ties to Russia, just as Serbia was suppressed to conceal nazi war crimes of Pius Pacelli. Nazi ratline Argentina not only got pope, but also had recent Croat and Arab leaders. Merkels’ mother’s mother was Polish so she is pushing Poland as the next superpower to STRATFOR. Merkel, Adenaur, Hitler and Napoleon all Carolignians. Charlemagne got pope to make him emperor because a woman was on the throne.

  2. Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

    I never thought I’d live to see this, but the concluding sentence of Kim’s blog post is ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICIENT! Tears are rolling down my cheeks from sheer happiness as I read it over and over again:

    >> There is only one possible answer: Russians are far more supportive of the Soviet system than many ever dreamed possible. >>

    They are indeed, and as the West faces disintegration, total chaos, and a rapidly accelerating regression back into outright feudalism courtesy of the banksters — care to guess who is currying most favour with the world’s peoples: George Soros or his nemesis, Vladimir Putin? The Russians are to be envied for their resolute, honourable presentday government, and they are to be revered for the example set by the great and glorious Soviet Union.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      You are an illiterate ape. We’ve said that HUNDREDS of times over the course of six years.

      By the way, the Germans loved Hitler when he was gutting Russia. The French loved Napoleon when he was doing the same. But you’re good with that, right dummy?

  3. > How is it possible that people in Russia in 2013 still pay attention to a paper bearing a Soviet name and written in a Soviet style?

    It’s not a paper. It’s an internet tabloid:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pravda.ru

    Pravda.ru is a Russian online tabloid not ashamed to feature woo, denialism, and various conspiracy theories. It also covers “normal” news, but often with a heavy Russian nationalist slant. Pravda means “truth” in Russian, something you probably won’t get by surfing on it. Pravda.ru is not to be confused with Pravda, the former Soviet Communist newspaper, which is currently a Russian-language newspaper owned by the Communist Party of Russian Federation. The name (and a few former collaborators, apparently) is the sole link with that newspaper.

    Here are some examples of “news” you could find on this site:

    The Moon landings are a hoax.
    Global warming is a hoax.
    HIV is a hoax.[2]
    Evolution is a hoax.[3][4]
    An alien base was filmed on the Moon.[7]
    Nostradamus foresaw World War III in 2010.[10]
    Atlantis was discovered under Antarctica.
    Human and alien skulls were discovered on Mars.[11]
    Fishermen caught and ate an alien.[12]

    Unlike the now-defunct Weekly World News, this is not a satirical website, as incredible it could be. At least the producers are unaware that this is satirical.

    Pravda.ru also had a forum, which was what one could expect of the forum of such a site. Somewhere around May 2012, the forums went down, allegedly due to a hacking attack (“they hate our free speech!”),[16] and as of early September, they still haven’t been restored.

  4. F5_Twister ⋅

    Yeah. Good point, Vladislav. Artykhov publication at pravda.ru has nothing in common with Pravda Newspaper which by the way still exists at http://www.gazeta-pravda.ru/.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      He said it WASN’T a newspaper. We said it was. And we said it was totally outrageous that this Soviet newspaper still exists. And we were right! Izvestia still exists too, and that’s equally outrageous.

      And whether the newspaper and this website are connected or not, they are powerful forces in Russia, which highlights how benighted the country really is.

      • F5_Twister ⋅

        I’m really interested in learning your definition of a “powerful force”. First of all the website Pravda.ru, haven’t you been saying multiple times that most of the Russians have no internet access? So how a website could be considered a powerful force in Russia, may I ask? Second of all is the Pravda Newspaper, alright. Its circulation, according to wikipedia, is about 100,000. That’s five to six times less than many regional US newspapers like San Jose Mercury News. It is even less than some small county newspapers like Contra Costa Times of Walnut Creek. So is Pravda Newspaper really a power? Could you please elaborate?

        • larussophobe ⋅

          Pravda.ru is one of the very few places in the world where unexpurgated Russian views are presented in English. It is a website that expends vast sums on content and attracts many readers. That’s what we mean by powerful.

          You obviously haven’t read out content closely enough. When we talk about low Internet usage in Russia, we mean that the Internet is not a powerful force FOR CHANGE because most Russians get their news from state-controlled TV.

          You also didn’t follow our comment about Pravda closely enough. Our comment was that it is outrageous that a newspaper of ANY size that bears a Soviet name and legacy should still exist in Russia. What would your thought be if a Nazi paper were still publishing today about the faults of Jews and had 100,000 readers in Germany?

        • @F5_Twister,

          The real Pravda newspaper, not that little yellow web site called “pravda.ru” (“truth”.ru), is the newspaper of the Communist party of the Russian Federation. Being a libertarian, I resent communism as much as, say, creationism or fascist juntaism. But they surely have a right to have their own newspaper, even if it gets only 100 000 in circulation. It actually plays an important role in discrediting Putin among the leftist masses. Look, for example, how Putinists almost explode with rage at Pravda explaining that Putin’s party – United Russia- had falsified the elections:

          http://newsland.com/news/detail/id/886376/
          По версии газеты “Правда”, КПРФ победила на выборах в Госдуму

      • I said that it wasn’t a “paper”. It is as much of a “paper” as your and my blogs.

        As far as the newspapers “Izvestia” (News/Reports) and “Novye Izvestia” (New/Latest News) go, I will leave it up to the readers to decide for themselves if the news-papers should be allowed to use the words “news/reports” in their titles.

        Izvestia
        From Wikipedia

        Izvestia (Russian: Известия) is a long-running high-circulation daily broadsheet newspaper in Russia. The word “izvestiya” in Russian means “delivered messages”, derived from the verb izveshchat (“to inform”, “to notify”). In the context of newspapers it is usually translated as “news” or “reports”.

        The newspaper is currently owned by National Media Group.[7] The newspaper extended simultaneously its business coverage. Izvestia’s old business section, Finansovye Izvestia (Finance Izvestia) was closed, and Market Weekly was launched instead in September 2011. The Friday appendix Nedelya (The Week), devoted to culture and leisure activities, was relaunched.

        Novye Izvestia
        From Wikipedia

        It was founded in 1997 by a group of journalists who left Izvestia newspaper, with the financial backing of Boris Berezovsky. After Vladimir Putin’s election as President of Russia in 2000, Novye Izvestia became a frequent critic of the new government, especially over the Kremlin’s influence on democratic freedoms for Russian citizens and the war in Chechnya.

        • larussophobe ⋅

          Pravda is a paper. You are an idiot.

          • Good comment, LR, Kim. You’ve got it right: Pravda is a paper. Pravda.ru is a web site. And they are unrelated, although both contain the word “pravda’ (truth) in their names. BTW, New York Post and Huffington Post are also unrelated. Of course, Huffington Post is an almost infinitely more visited site than Pravda.ru.

  5. Since communism is one huge lie…”spreading the wealth” while it is actually concentrating resources in the hand of a few crooks of the party nomenklatoura, (Xi Jinping is the richest man in history) it is not surprising that their “Pravda” relish in all of the idiotic conspiracy theories of leftard idiots like MonFreddie and Rottenbooger…Are you coming or going, Vlad? You a filthy commie or not? Like a wind vane, Vlad most likely will answer in a new direction…alt least Manfred is STUPID the same way all the time!

  6. Mr. Brewington never threatened to set the judge on fire. He made a generalized statement on his private facebook page that “this is like playing with gas and fire, and anyone who has seen me with gas and fire know that I’m quite the accomplished pyromaniac.” This quote was in reference to the volatility of the family court system in the United States. The State started with this statement and built it into a threat that Mr. Brewington was going to somehow cause harm to the judge with fire. Mr. Brewington never issued any threats except to tell the truth about what was happening in the Indiana family court system. Mr. Brewington is most definitely in prison because he criticized the Indiana court system, a judge and a psychologist, but hopefully the Indiana Supreme Court will overturn the lower court ruling.

    • I agree that Mr. Brewington is entitled to free speech and doesn’t deserve 5 years in jail. However, the words that you have quoted above, are openly threatening, and so is publishing a judge’s home address, and a few months in jail may be a good lesson.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      Sue, you are acting like a jury, and you have that right, but he’s already been convicted for doing exactly what we said.

      By no means do we imply agreement with his conviction.

  7. Monfred SoftSchlong sez:
    “care to guess who is currying most favour with the world’s peoples: George Soros or his nemesis, Vladimir Putin?”

    It’s like saying:” Who are the best stoners of women, the best sodomizers of newborn babies, the best thieves , the best rapists, the best genocidal assassins, the Shiites or the Sunni muslims?

    Soros have spent the best part of his immense fortune supporting terrorists and subversives bent on spreading Putin’s model of tyranny world wide.
    Thanks to the Gods, they are enemy brothers, like the sunnis and the Shiite muslims…

  8. Minsky ⋅

    Have to agree with Rutenburg @ 8:30 PM.
    Pravda.ru is such nonsense it would make the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer (“aliens impregnated me!”) seem perfectly honorable.
    For example, I have long been following the work of one of their regular reporters, Svetlana Smentana, as a harbinger of the paranoid direction this government was taking. She regularly publishes about how Western European and US legal systems are trying to destroy families and conspiring to take children away from Russian women. She’s also a regular on the regime-sponsored, “Russian Beyond the Headlines.” The topic she covers is, you would think, core Russian values of family. And the way she perverts these values is possible only in Russia.
    Inevitably these “heroic” Russian women are revealed to be lunatics or criminals (or both) whose children were distanced from them in countries with effective public courts and social institutions (unlike Russia).
    One of these darlings is Irina Bergseth, president of the patently wacko “Russian Mothers”. After getting launched by Pravda.ru, Bergseth has had appearances on the Channel 1 “Live with Michael Zelinsky” show (yes, the one that paid the birth mother of Max Shatto to travel to Moscow for an appearance, which financed her immediate binge of drinking and brawling and getting thrown off the train home). Bergseth’s blathering paranoia keeps reaching new heights, including her recent claim that her son was abused by Norwegian social workers waring a Putin costume. You can’t make this stuff up.
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/fantasies-of-being-abused-in-a-putin-costume/476547.html
    Another is the international criminal and, perhaps the saving point for the regime, US citizen Marianne Grin, who kidnapped her children to Russia after being diagnosed in Italy as a danger to her children. Trumpeted by Smentana and Pravda.ru (and Zelensky) as a “heroic Russian mother”, her story was later debunked by other Russian press. In fact, another “Pravda,” Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP.ru) caught her on hidden video raving violently at a public school as she retrieved her children, who were hospitalised after her abuse. When the reporter asks Grin to comment on the video, she accuses him of being paid by an American. Very telling. The truth is only the truth so long as it suits our view…this could be the motto of Pravda.ru
    http://bringflorentinekidshome.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/russian-news-video-with-english-subtitles/
    If Pravda.ru and Channel 1 represent the government’s voice, then the regime does not have long to last. They are even making Russian mothers look insane, corrupt, and evil.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      We don’t agree with you at all. You may be a very sophisticated person with the knowledge base to out Pravda.ru on your own, but many who troll the Internet are not. Did you know all the facts laid out in our post? If so, you are awesome! But many out there are not that well informed and will believe what they read on Pravda.ru just as they believe what they read in the National Enquirer. Such views hold massive sway in Russia today, which is why for instance Zhirinovsky holds so much power.

      • Minsky ⋅

        We may be saying the same thing but coming at this from different angles.

        Pravda.ru is the embodiment of the evil of this regime anbd how it operates today. With such a monopoly and control over the media, they don’t even care whether the lies sound credible.

        You don’t need to be sophisticated to out Pravda.ru, just posses an average brain. The propaganda is so hamfisted, it’s comical. A recent post by Smetanina is, “Man’s Family Is Destroyed Because His Wife Is Russian.” The second paragraph starts with, “Finnish human rights defender Johan Backman received a call for help….” (for those who don’t know, Backman is the pro-Putin, Russian-speaking Finn who is held up as a hero by Pravda.ru and Voice of Russia because of his willingness to criticize Finland, but ignored as an unfortunate loon in his home country. The appearance of Backman is a red flag that there’s nothing truthful about it.(

    • jorgensen

      about Irina Bergseth-Frolova and her paranoia

  9. Minsky ⋅

    sorry, the Pravda.ru faux journalist who writes paranoid articles about the West depriving children from their Russian parents is Svetlana Smetanina.
    I confused her surname with one of the better things to still come out of Russia (sour cream). my apologies to borsch lovers everywhere….

  10. Minsky ⋅

    Dying Russia and its predecessor blog are powerful forces in the English-speaking world. Pravda.ru is a laughingstock.

    the real issue is what impact these and similar tabloids have in Russia, not the impact their silly English language attempts accomplish outside the country.

    the problem is that within Russia, Pravda.ru is just one of many, similar lie generators. the state’s media tentacles are many, and the stories about the ills of the West and the quoted “experts” are always the same, and coordinated, across media outlets, even if they have putatively different ownership and boards. for example, a “journalist” from Pravda.ru will appear on a Channel 1 program about a story she wrote, and where she will advocate for the Russian side. there’s not even a pretence of objectivity.

    publishing lies doesn’t make them true, so instead the regime tries to beat them into people’s heads through repetition.

  11. mingthemerciless ⋅

    I am offended to hear the loon compared to Russians.

    The Loon’s cry is a haunting sound, followed by the peace of the wilds, while the hyena snickerings
    of the marxist poutineries of the slavish Russians are purely hideous and are followed by wars, famines and pestilences…
    (How many nations has Putin’s Russian Soviet Union destroyed in South America, Africa, Asia?)

  12. Minsky ⋅

    my apologies if I offended any loons of the ornithological variety.

  13. Comparing Manfred to a laughing Hyena would be fair, he also delight in Soviet ideological carrion and Vladislav is like the chameleon, changing color as it amuse him, like a trial lawyer that will prove irrefutably that the sky is green and the leaves on trees are blue…How many times he’s praised Putin as the superhero, while today, Vladimir Stalinovitch seen to be a villain…that won’t last…Vilain Vladislav!

    Regular spotted communists:

  14. ru

    Really when someone doesn’t understand then its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it happens.

  15. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  16. I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your content.
    This great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  17. web Site

    I like it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

  18. Wow, this article is nice, my sister is analyzing these
    kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.

  19. Researcher ⋅

    I love history, but all I have read in PRAVDA are all lies. The reporting lack deep research.Shame on you this is another form of brainwashing. The Russian and Chinese does nothing to contribute good in this world, only stupidity,bullying and sowing fears. Look back at your history before you talk about the West. Western countries is better to chose. Ask yourselves first. To the PRAVDA What you have contributed in this world?

  20. Researcher ⋅

    Pravda is reporting that the West should not attack Syria…etc.. My goodness those helpless civilians are dying everyday. Then no other country are helping them except the West.What the Russians are doing???Ask yourselves men? Then you are still supporting their Tyrant President, where is your sense? I challenge you for any debate in any subject, just leave your reply here.

  21. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  22. Charline

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  23. Bertie

    I have different opinion on this, in any case many thanks for your post, worth reading it.the time

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