In an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, former Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed concern regarding the state of freedom of the press in his country. He was particularly dismayed at the murder of four journalists who worked for Novaya Gazeta, a publication that frequently has been critical of the policies of Prime Minister Vladmir Putin. Gorbachev gave the newspaper money to purchase computers, “some of them were stolen and destroyed in an attempt to get rid of the sensitive information on the hard drives.” Gorbachev expressed hope the investigations into the murder of reporters, but was pleased President Medvedev recently granted an interview to the newspaper.
Gorbachev believes the interview reflects a desire on the part of President Medvedev to restore a semblance of freedom of the press and to warn those who attack reporters. Gorbachev expressed his belief that freedom of the press will continue its progress and Russia is “moving in the right direction” on this issue.