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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Russian authorities have no intention of restoring oligarchic control over the mass media and civil-society institutions
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation told it Germany's ARD and ZDF television channels. "Of course, we must work a lot in order to enhance market-economic institutions, to expand freedom of the press and civil society, which can effectively control the entire huge state bureaucratic machinery," the Russian leader noted. "But we cannot re-establish oligarchic control over the mass media and separate institutions of civil society," Vladimir Putin went on to say. According to Putin, this has already happened in modern Russian history. "We have already passed through a period when armed security guards had been posted at a national TV channel by certain people and by one particular economic group. They handed out under-table money to all national-TV staffers inside bags and on their behalf," Putin noted. "Leading journalists had received thousands and tens of thousands of dollars," the Russian leader added. "Can you imagine big guys with weapons in hand guarding ARD or ZDF from morning till evening? Can you imagine receiving handsome unregistered wages inside envelopes?" Putin asked German journalists.
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