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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pravda Split on Revamp

The staff of the newspaper Pravda is split on the issue of complying with a government order to change its name and its editor, acting editor Alexander Ilyin said Monday.

Ilyin, the former first deputy editor, was appointed to his new post Thursday, when an order came from the Press and Information Ministry directing the paper to sack its editor, Gennady Seleznyov, and reregister under a new name.

A ministry spokesman said Friday that the staff had agreed to accept the conditions and that the paper would come out Tuesday under the new name Put Pravdy (Way of Truth), a name briefly used by the newspaper in tsarist times after similarly being closed down by the government.

Seleznyov announced at a press conference Friday that the paper's staff supported him, and that he would not leave.

But Ilyin said Monday that the staff was divided on the issue, and that no decisions had yet been made.

"Unfortunately, there are those on the staff who want to stand on principle", he said. "I think it is more important to keep the collective together, to put out a newspaper that would express the views of Pravda, and represent the interests of the majority of the population".

He added that he and a significant portion of the staff were ready to compromise with the government.

"Of course there will have to be changes in tone", he said. "We will have to become a more civilized opposition".

Ilyin said that the staff would have to recognize that things had changed: "We will have to come to terms with the new reality".