Friday, August 14, 2015

Russian Publisher Rewrites Books on Putin Without Western Authors’ Consent

By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY, NYT, AUG. 14, 2015

MOSCOW — In the original 2012 form of “Expelled: A Journalist’s Descent Into the Russian Mafia State,” the British journalist Luke Harding gives a personal account of the harassment he and his family experienced at the hands of the F.S.B., the chief successor agency to the K.G.B. It covers his time in Russia as he reported on such stories as the radiation poisoning of the former F.S.B. officer Alexander V. Litvinenko and the murder of the human rights activist Natalya Estemirova.

But a new version, published without consultation with Mr. Harding this year by a Russian house, Algoritm Publishers, bears only a fleeting resemblance to the original, the author said by telephone from London.

“They took out Litvinenko, F.S.B. methods, the harassment that my family faced,” Mr. Harding said, as well as the war in Georgia and the murders of Kremlin critics such as Ms. Estemirova. The new version of the book was released as part of a series about President Vladimir V. Putin.

“Crimea is missing,” added Mr. Harding, who was expelled from Russia in 2011. “What is fascinating is that Putin and the money trail are there. It’s almost an indicator about the red lines on publishing in Russia. Ukraine is taboo. Litvinenko is taboo. Putin and money are not taboo.”

Edward Lucas, a former Moscow correspondent for The Economist, and Donald N. Jensen, an American expert on Russia who is a resident fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, also found their books rewritten and published by Algoritm without consultation or permission.

(More here.)

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