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Attack on Russian Journalist Stirs Online Allies


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1. В романе Оруэлла ликвидация личного пространства была частью правительственной политики, тогда как в наше время это ничто иное как побочный эффект выходок кибер хулиганов.

2. Если бы Т. Клементи принес свою личную жизнь в жертву (to sacrifice) компьютеру и преодолел свое замешательство, он вполне мог бы устроить из своей жизни реалити-шоу.

3. В отличие от Большого Брата, Маленьким Братьям не достает понимания, что они преследуют (to be after).

4. Для Т. Клементи, который недавно совершил самоубийство, Маленький Брат принял форму соседа по общежитию, подсматривающего с помощью Web – камеры.

5. Недавно в сети появилось видео, на котором израильский солдат издевательски танцует вокруг испуганной палестинской женщины.

6. Сосед Т. Клементи действовал импульсивно и его действия нельзя было предвидеть, не говоря уже о том (let alone), чтобы защититься от них.

7. Маленький Брат живет в каждом из нас, а (rather than) не в каком-то далеком и изолированном месте. Но нужно помнить, что всякий раз, когда мы направляем камеры наших устройств на кого-то, чтобы снять что-нибудь сенсационное, мы вторгаемся в чью-то личную жизнь.

8. В наше время информация распространяется во всех направлениях, она неподвластна никаким правителям и не подчиняется никакой партийной линии.

9. Эпоха онлайнового видео, когда захватывающие кадры из чьей-то жизни распространяются по миру в мгновение ока, будит анархиста в каждом из нас.

10. В романе Дж. Оруэлла зловещие телекраны, установленные в доме каждого, распространяли пропаганду и осуществляли наблюдение, тем самым держа население в постоянном страхе.


Russian blogosphere

Attack on Russian Journalist Stirs Online Allies

By ELLEN BARRY and ^ ANDREW E. KRAMER

MOSCOW — Two years ago, Oleg Kashin was sitting in a sleek little coffee shop around the corner from the Kremlin when a novelist walked in and punched him in the face.

The fight had begun online, during an exchange that included such phrases as “a legless bum that crawled out of the sewer” and “unprincipled prostitute” and “primitively smash you in the mug.” The novelist was in the process of doing just that when he realized several things about his adversary. First, despite his shock-jock online persona, Mr. Kashin was not a fighter. Second, he was not afraid.

“I began to look more attentively at him,” said the novelist, Eduard I. Bagirov. “I think that if you hit him in the face it won’t scare him, he does not care.”

Mr. Bagirov was right. What Mr. Kashin did after that was take on bigger and bigger enemies, a pattern that ended Nov. 6, when he was beaten nearly to death outside his doorway. His name has now been added to the list of journalists who have been silenced through violence in Russia, alongside opposition icons like Anna Politkovskaya and Natalya Estemirova, who were both killed.

But Mr. Kashin, 30, is from a different generation — one wary of both the state and the opposition, one that has flooded the Internet and has come of age speaking freely there. And his brutal beating with a metal bar has hit a nerve somewhere deep in that group.

“I am reading the commentaries of people who have always been completely apolitical, and I am just stunned,” said Aleksei A. Navalny, 34, a prominent blogger. “It is a completely different generation, in their relation to life, to technology and to everything else. These are the people who Kashin was closest to, and these are the people he wrote for.”

The response to the attack on Mr. Kashin stands out not so much for its proportions as for who is speaking out. The news spread instantly online on that Saturday morning, penetrating an entire subculture before dawn. By the end of last week, some of the same people — a group allergic to political parties or demonstrations of any kind — were rallying at Pushkin Square.

“He is one of the best of us,” Vitaly Shushkevich told Vesti, a cable news station. “So the reaction of the blogosphere is understandable: they are beating us.”

Though Mr. Kashin worked for Kommersant, a major newspaper, many of the people at the rally knew him best through the stream of doggerel and profanity and Zen koans that was his Twitter feed. His online readership was not a huge group — maybe 5,000, Mr. Navalny estimated — but it included much of Moscow’s young media elite, and they followed him not only as a writer but also as a character. He reveled in the extraordinary freedom of Russia’s blogosphere and seemed to take a particular glee in challenging powerful men in the open air of his LiveJournal blog.

“Do you consider I have to apologize?” he wrote, during an online exchange this summer with the governor of Pskov. “What will happen if I don’t?”

Mr. Kashin arrived in Moscow at 23 from the port city of Kaliningrad. “Russian sailor Kashin,” as he sometimes referred to himself, became a persona — a blunt-spoken outsider in the ingrown world of Moscow politics. His own politics varied, he acknowledged cheerfully, in a list of 100 facts about himself.

“Kashin can find an ideological base for any nonsense,” he wrote. “Kashin would have been a dissident if he lived under Soviet power.”

In his mid-20s, Mr. Kashin found work at pro-Kremlin publications, which sought to mobilize young Russians against the pro-Western wave that had swept Ukraine. He took aim at liberal icons like Ms. Politkovskaya, the Kremlin critic who was killed in 2006, writing that he considered her more of a newsmaker than a journalist.

“I can disillusion the romantic reader,” he wrote. “There is no such frightening truth for which a journalist can be killed.”

Then, two years ago, Mr. Kashin switched sides. He stopped writing for pro-government outlets and turned his attention to the youth movements around Vladislav Y. Surkov, the Kremlin’s leading ideologist. Some of his posts were needling — he circulated a screen shot of an online chat that appeared to show a former leader of one of the movements, Nashi, acknowledging having sex with a minor.

And some turned ugly. When Mr. Kashin, writing on LiveJournal in August, used a derogatory term to refer to Andrei A. Turchak, 34, the governor of Pskov and a former leader of the pro-Kremlin youth group Molodaya Gvardiya, a response appeared within two hours: “Young man, you’ve got 24 hours to apologize. You can do it here, or in a separate post. The clock has started.”

“Excuse me, is it a threat?” Mr. Kashin wrote, and gleefully elaborated: “I consider your appointment an insult to federalism, common sense and other things of the same order. I consider being related to a friend of Putin’s insufficient grounds to lead a region. I am sure if there were free elections you would not win more than 5 percent.”

Oksana Shiran, a spokeswoman for Mr. Turchak’s office, told Kommersant that the governor would not comment until the investigation was completed, except to say that he wished Mr. Kashin a speedy recovery.

The list of people known to have been offended by Mr. Kashin seemed to grow longer every day this past week. He infuriated the police and Molodaya Gvardiya this summer with his coverage of antigovernment protests in Khimki. He clashed online with white supremacist gangs, according to Maksim G. Avdeyev, a close friend, and was finishing a book about Viktor I. Petrik, a scientist allied with leaders of the ruling party, United Russia.

“Kashin created enemies every day, and in huge quantity,” said Mr. Bagirov, 35, the novelist who hit Mr. Kashin in the coffee shop. (Their difference of opinion was about a woman, he said.) But all those clashes happened in a space that was protected — or at least seemed to be.

He reacted with horror to the attack, saying he reads Mr. Kashin’s articles “from the first word to the last period.”

“Those like Kashin — there are only a dozen of them in the country,” he wrote in his blog. “And if the mastermind is found, and his legs are inserted in his intestinal tract, I personally will be completely satisfied.”


^ Focus on vocabulary:

sleek – гламурный, элегантный; to punch – ударить кулаком; fight – зд. ссора; sewer – сточная канава; mug – зд. рожа, рыло, морда; adversary – противник; to scare – пугать; to silence – заставить замолчать; to flood – заполонить; to come of age – взрослеть; to be stunned – быть ошеломленным; prominent – известный, выдающийся; to stand out – выделяться; to rally – собираться, скапливаться (на демонстрацию); profanity – сквернословие; feed – веб – канал; to revel in – наслаждаться; glee – веселье, ликование, радость; (media) outlets – СМИ; to circulate – зд. распространять; screen shot – снимок экрана; derogatory – уничижительный; appointment – назначение на должность; common sense – здравый смысл; mastermind – заказчик.

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