Pavel Selin: Russia following Belarus’ path

Present-day political events in Russia bear strong resemblance to the way that Belarus travelled from the buds of democracy to totalitarism, Russian journalist Pavel Selin said during a meeting with representatives of Belarusian civil society in Minsk.
“I was working in Belarus in the period from 2000 to 2003. When I visited Russia I told my friends: “Guys, we are really going through the same phase that Belarus is. This includes even small symbolic coincidence: for example, our first president was Yeltsin. He might have looked as a man of the people but at bottom he was a member of intelligentsia. He was replaced by a “bandit from a Petersburg backstreet”<…> In Belarus communist Kebich and intellectual Shushkevich were followed by you know who,” the renowned journalist said.
Who has thought of “the fifth column” and “vertical”?
According to Pavel Selin, the terms were firstly introduced “700 kilometres to the West”.
The expert noticed the similarity of state propaganda in both countries: “While working in Belarus I watched films about opposition produced by the Belarusian state-owned television. And I was very emotional after seeing Anatomy of Protest on NTV. If compared by words and expressions the films have a full concurrence of ideas. Names differ, characters are the same – “sponsors from the West”, ”traitors” and the same sort of rot,” he said.
Will web TV bring salvation?
”Normal society is impossible without normal television. And vice versa – television cannot be independen if a state is not free,” Pavel Selin believes.
“At the situation created in Russia the only free TV platform is web television, i.e. Rain TV which is being developed by the best from the best [professionals] who remained idle after reforming channels NTV and RenTV. The nonsense broadcast by the latter is totally iincredible. But it is popular and trendy,” he stressed.
In his opinion, web television is a very powerful resource but it is not unstoppable. “I feel doubtful whether web TV is the thing of the future. It is very easy to turn web content off. A switch – and no more television,” Selin said.
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