Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Otto Latsis Dead

From
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 9, No. 208, Part I, 4 November 2005


OTTO LATSIS DEAD...

One of Russia's best-known journalists, Otto Latsis, passed away on 3 November, Russian news agencies reported. Latsis, 72, never recovered from a serious car accident that he was involved in a month ago. Latsis's last place of employment, according to gazeta.ru, was "Moskovskie novosti" where he went after "Russkii kurer" closed shop. Latsis was extremely successful during the Soviet period, writing an economics column for "Izvestiya" from 1964 to 1971. However, his career at "Izvestiya" came to an abrupt end when KGB officers discovered an unpublished manuscript Latsis had written about Stalin during a search of a colleague's office. Latsis was only able to return to journalism again during the beginning of perestroika. From 1987 to 1991, he was first deputy editor of "Kommunist." When the Soviet Union fell apart, Latsis was finally able to return to "Izvestiya," where he stayed until 1997 and then started "Novye izvestiya." JAC

...FOLLOWING LONG CAREER AS CRITIC OF STALIN, PUTIN.

In November 2003, Latsis was attacked near the entrance of his home and sustained a serious concussion. At the time, Igor Yakovenko, general secretary of the Union of Journalists, said he was not excluding the possibility that the attack was connected with Latsis's activities as a journalist (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 November 2003). In a commentary for "Novye izvestiya" in 2002, Latsis said the era of President Putin has been characterized by a laudably liberal approach to economic policy combined with a creeping authoritarianism. He added that the "elements of fascism are already a hard fact of life [in Russia], particularly in Chechnya" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 August 2002). JAC
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