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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Forces Pravda Into Name Change

One of the two newspapers feuding for the right to call itself Pravda hit the newsstands under a new name Friday after losing out in a legal fight with its rival.

Pravda - the Russian word for truth - is the oldest continually published newspaper in Russia and was once the mouthpiece of the Soviet Communist Party. In 1994, the publication split into several warring groups who each began printing their own newspapers with the Pravda logotype.

Viktor Linnik, editor of one of the two remaining pretenders to the Pravda name, said in a telephone interview Friday that a court decision last month forced him to change his newspaper's title. It's now called Slovo, or word.

The court case against Linnik was brought by Alexander Ilyin, editor of the rival Pravda, the official publication of Gennady Zyuganov's Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Ilyin could not be reached for comment Friday.

Linnik said Friday the battle to inherit the Pravda name would go on. "Unfortunately, this long story is not over yet, because we will continue to fight in courts," Linnik said.

He also criticized the State Press Committee, saying the body had been successfully lobbied by the Communist Party to prevent Linnik from using the Pravda name.

Linnik, whose newspaper is left-wing but more moderate than Ilyin's, had applied to the committee to register his newspaper under the name: "Pravda of politics, economics, culture and the world" but was turned down.

Founded in 1912 by Lenin, Pravda was almost compulsory reading for Soviet citizens, with 13 million copies printed daily.