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Putin attacks TV coverage

Submarine tragedy triggers media criticism from Russian prez

MOSCOW — Shortly after the tragic end of Russia’s Kursk submarine drama in the Barents Sea last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a strong attack on the country’s TV media for its reporting of the drama.

In an interview on pubcaster RTR late last week, Putin accused the owners of Russia’s two leading stations, ORT Channel 1 and NTV, of “unscrupulously trying to exploit this misfortune to gain political capital.”

Putin continued with personal threats to the two concerned, Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky, over the status of their offshore companies and overseas property holdings.

The confrontation follows a summer of open conflict between the Kremlin and broadcasters over their news reporting strategies, which culminated in Gusinsky’s arrest and his subsequent flight to Spain.

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