Out of fear of angering the government of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, executives at US publishing group Condé Nast have taken extreme measures to censor a story in GQ about the Russian government’s connection to a series of bombings of apartment buildings, going so far as to stop the magazine’s distribution in Russia.
The article, Scott Anderson’s “Vladimir Putin’s Dark Rise to Power,” examined the links between the Moscow bombings and the FSB. The attacks, which killed nearly 300 people, were officially blamed on Chechen separatists and spread a wave of fear across the country. The bombings served as a trigger to the Second Chechen war.
Condé Nast’s lawyers banned the article from GQ’s website and its distribution outside the United States. In what NPR called “an act of quiet defiance,” GQ editors leaked the story to several other news organizations. Gawker has since posted scanned images of the piece online and asked readers to help translate it from English to Russian.
None Dare Call It Conspiracy
Ten years ago this month, Russia was rocked by a series of mysterious apartment bombings that left hundreds dead. It was by riding the ensuing wave of fear and terror that a then largely unknown Vladimir Putin rose to become the most powerful man in the country.
But there were questions about the nature of those bombings – and disturning evidence that the perpetrators might actually have been working for the Russian government. In the years since then, the people who had been questioning the official version of events began one by one to go silent or turn up dead. Except one man. Scott Anderson found him.