Brave journalists in Russia and the Central Europe are being intimidated. FSB acts like mafia that is shielded by the state. Free Press in most of the post Soviet countries is a joke. In Russia it never existed. Some individual journalists decided to be faithful to their calling. However most of them had to give their life for it.
Maybe this time the West will react.
IT’S a warm evening in the summer of 2010. I am leaving a cafe in the very center of Moscow when I notice my car is missing its license plate. I know what this means: I am being followed.
Because the senior officers in the F.S.B. (the main successor to the Soviet K.G.B.) don’t trust their agents, they demand not only an account of the subject’s movements but additional proof, in the form of a license plate, that the observation is being carried out, that the report is not made up, that the target is indeed being followed. It would be silly to pretend that I am not afraid. I am afraid.
I call my friend Marina Litvinovich, an editor who has had many years of experience dealing with the Russian security services. More than once she has been attacked on the street. When this happens they call you by name, beat you half to death, then leave you, taking no money or valuables, thereby ensuring that you never, even for a moment, think you have just been mugged.