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Whose voice will Echo of Caucasus broadcast?2009-10-23 20:54
On November 2, Radio Freedom-Free Europe will start broadcasting in Russian specially for the audience of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Tbilisi estimated this step of the "voice" sponsored by the U.S. Congress as the "informational recognition" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Well, what is going to happen next? As is known, the Georgian state machine is rather hard on those broadcasting companies that take liberty of transmitting their signal in the territory of the new states recognized by Russia after the Georgian aggression in South Ossetia last August. Punitive sanctions are applied against the disobedient, mostly in the form of heavy fines.
For example, the Public Russian Television company was fined by Georgia to the amount of 500 thousand laris for broadcasting in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On August 28, the National Commission of Georgia fined five more Russian channels: Ren-TV, NTV, TV-Center, Russia and Culture for "illegal broadcasting in the occupied territory". A 36-thousand-dollar fine was also imposed upon the Vesti FM and First Channel radio stations.
It would be interesting to know how much will the U.S. Congress pay for the guilty "voice of freedom". Or, perhaps, they will settle it with the State Department as family members do? Anyway, Director of the Georgian Department of Radio Freedom David Kabakadze admitted that there is already an ambiguous reaction to the coming broadcasts of the new Echo of Caucasus program. "Someone in Tbilisi believes that thus Radio Freedom has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is also a negative reaction from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Still, I believe that things will change as soon as our broadcasts start. When the audience understands that this project is not politically loaded they will change their attitude to the program".
Mr. Kabakadze obviously plays cunning, for all the programs of Radio Freedom are characterized as utterly political. It is notable that Andrey Babitskiy was appointed editor of the new broadcasting direction; he is a great friend of the Chechen militants, whose provocative odyssey in the Caucasian mountains became the topic of a whole cycle of Radio Freedom broadcasts and the material for various anti-Russian publications in the western media. Thus, it is absolutely clear whose side this notorious Russophobe will take.
Thus, when saying that "we are an independent radio station, which means that our programs will be impartial" he is not playing cunning - he is self-contradictory, for Andrey Babitskiy has got an initially biased attitude towards Russia and everything connected with it.