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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Workers' Collective Fires Pravda Editor

Pravda, the feisty mouthpiece of the Communist opposition, is embroiled in yet another scandal.

The newspaper's editor, Viktor Linnik, has been removed by the vote of the workers' collective, after just three months at the paper's helm, he said in an interview Monday.

Alexander Ilyin, who up to now has been deputy editor, has been appointed to take his place, the television news program Segodnya reported.

Linnik said he was removed because of a dispute within the newspaper over Pravda International, a corporation set up with Greek backer Yanos Yannikos to provide financial backing for Pravda, which was the largest daily in the Soviet Union. Yannikos has asked for cofounder status in the newspaper, which Linnik has refused to grant him.

"The oldest Russian newspaper should not fall into the hands of a foreign company," Segodnya quoted Linnik as saying.

The feud has led to a schism within the paper. Linnik said in an interview that he was supported by seven of 12 members of Pravda's editorial board.

He added that he does not recognize the decision of the workers' collective, since he said it was taken by less than half of the workers -- 60 out of 219.

Linnik termed the attempt to remove him "the Greek putsch," and said that he and his supporters intended to submit the matter to the State Duma.

"We are asking that a law be drafted stating that Russian mass media cannot be under the control of foreigners," he said. "The Greeks keep complaining that Pravda is losing money. Why do they want it so much? I think that they have some strategic political goals here."

The quarrel over the status of the Greek company led to Pravda suspending publication on Jan. 25. Since then, it has appeared sporadically, and will not come out Tuesday.