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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: May 12, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Fourteen Printing Presses Refused to Publish Nemtsov Report
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According to a report by, colleagues of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov spent a month going to 14 printing presses in Moscow trying to find a publisher of a report on Russia's military presence in Ukraine titled Putin.War released today in Moscow.

Only one printer agreed to perform the job on condition of anonymity, which is why no publisher is indicated on the document.

Nemtsov's colleagues also placed the report on line on the same page where all of the reports by Nemtsov and his associates have been published in the past, but this is still down now due to a DDoS attack.

Vsevolod Chagayev, an activist involved in the logistics of the report told that 10 printers in Moscow and suburbs said they would not take the job due to "the situation in the country." Another four at first agreed to print the job and even took money in advance, but then decided to back out. These included some presses that in the past had agreed to publish the works of Nemtsov and other opposition figures such as Alexey Navalny.

Agata Chachko, head of Mayak, a Moscow printing firm said that she went to five printers about the Nemtsov report and all five said that they would agree to the deadline and the payment, but did not like the content. "That's the first time in my memory," said Chachko.

Tatyana Rud, manager of Buki Vedi, another Moscow printing press declined to say if they had been approached to publish the report, although Chagayev said they had, but said some jobs are turned down "for technical reasons."

Another printer who declined to supply a name said the job was turned down after seeing the contents. "Several years ago, when we printed a report by Nemtsov, there a different situation in the country, and views, but even then there was pressure on us on the part of the authorities," she said. First tax inspectors came to the office then police came to search the premises after the last printing. "My phone was even bugged," said the manager, who asked that neither her name or the name of the press be mentioned.

The job was finally done in a small run of 2,000 on conditions of anonymity. Supporters are raising funds to publish more copies.

The fear of getting involved in such publications show the continuing impact of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov on the intelligentsia in Russia. Generally it has been the case since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that even controversial works can be printed. Even in the years of Putin's rule, while it has been harder to get opposition books published, there have been smaller presses willing to take on the job. Now that time may be coming to an end.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick