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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Issue Of Pravda Hits Streets

The newspaper Pravda, once the official organ of the Communist Party, reappeared in kiosks Friday after being almost universally pronounced 'dead' only four weeks earlier.


"It's a historic paper with a strong tradition that has made a huge contribution to the pride of this country," said Pravda reporter Mikhail Kalashnikov. "That's why we want to resurrect it."


The newspaper suspended publication July 25 over a feud between its Greek publishers, Theodoros and Christos Giannikos, and its Russian editor, Alexander Ilyin.


Ilyin said the Greek owners were cutting salaries and trying to soften the paper's oppositionist editorial line following President Boris Yeltsin's electoral victory.


The Giannikos brothers, meanwhile, accused reporters, and particularly Ilyin, of incompetence, laziness and drunkenness. They replaced Pravda with a daily tabloid, Pravda 5, which appeals to less ideological readers.


Financial director Theodoros Giannikos was indignant at Friday's reappearance of the old Pravda. "This isn't Pravda. It's illegal," he said. "They must have got the money to put it out from all of those hidden ads they've written in the past." According to the Interfax newspaper, Giannikos threatened to sue Pravda's journalists for breach of copyright.


Kalashnikov refused to say how the paper was being financed. "We have many supporters among our readers and we also have certain funds," he said. "It would be dangerous for the future of this fund to say where it comes from."


Friday's issue of Pravda had a print run of 60,000, Kalashnikov said, adding that he hoped the paper would appear on a weekly basis. At its prime, the paper was almost mandatory reading for Soviet citizens, printing 13 million copies daily.