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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Same Old Song

In response to "Serbs Sold Down the River," a June 10 column by Pavel Felgenhauer.


In my first letter to you since I became a regular reader in 1993 I would like to pose a riddle and ask a question.

First, the riddle: Can you name the man who denied that the destruction by Russian troops of the Chechen village of Samashki, along with many of its inhabitants, ever happened? Neither in Chechnya, nor in Bosnia, nor now in Kosovo has he been on the side of the victims. He relates self-serving details of his constant conversations with highly placed military representatives and politicians, although nobody knows whether these meetings actually took place.

As the new nightingale of the Russian General Staff, he has convincingly proven that he is one of the more unenlightened members of the Moscow political class, with a very strange and old-fashioned understanding of security policy. In times of war, like the Yugoslav conflict, he is at his best: He advises U.S. President Bill Clinton to take Russian threats of the use of nuclear weapons seriously, warning that otherwise the United States might go up in smoke.

He repeatedly predicts (or demands?) a putsch by the Russian military and security forces and the installation of a radical nationalist, pro-Communist government (in which he would probably have no difficulties finding a job). He puts NATO generals on the same level as Serbian war criminals, and asserts that coverage of the war in the Balkans by Russia's major TV channels is distinctively pro-NATO.

The answer: Yes, it's your own Pavel Felgenhauer, the de facto defense correspondent of The Moscow Times - a newspaper that, aside from Felgenhauer's editorials, has made my life in Russia much more enjoyable. And he has written everything mentioned above, which either does not correspond to the facts or is a very one-sided position, to put it mildly, to be making its way onto the pages of The Moscow Times.

And now my question: Why Felgenhauer, when there are security experts worth reading? Pluralism is, of course, a good thing. But do you really have to use Felgenhauer to prove the point? Or is Andrei Piontkovsky on Page 8 to please Western readers and Felgenhauer on Page 9 to attract Russian ones?

Dr. Falk Bomsdorf