The Messenger, Georgia
Dec 31 2004

Resisting authoritarian regimes in Russia and Armenia

According to the Armenian newspaper Aravot (Morning), the Russian
president Vladimir Putin sometimes excites admiration with his
ability to cut to the chase without beating around the bush.
For example, answering a question at a recent press conference
regarding the freedom of speech in Russia, Putin cited an Italian
joke that a true man should always try, but a true woman should
always resist. According to the paper, when speaking of a true man
Putin was referring himself and his power in the country; while a
true woman was a reference to the press, which should resist
"How cynical is Putin'sanswer," the paper writes, "but at least it is
Putin did not answer the provocative questions regarding the
independence of the country and freedom of speech and did not promise
anything as other politicians usually do, the paper reports, adding
that if the president of Armenian Robert Kocharian were as honest as
Putin was, instead of preferring to dupe the people regarding freedom
of speech in Armenia, then the situation would be better.
"This is the most surprising thing regarding our authorities'
attitude to the media. The true media should always resist its
suppression by the government," the paper concludes.