Oleg Kashin

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Oleg Kashin
Kashin at Open Library debate 140928.jpg
Kashin at a Saint Petersburg library, 2014
Native name Олег Владимирович Кашин
Born Oleg Vladimirovich Kashin
(1980-06-17) June 17, 1980 (age 38)
Kaliningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Occupation Journalist

Oleg Vladimirovich Kashin (Russian: Оле́г Влади́мирович Ка́шин; born June 17, 1980) is a Russian journalist and writer known for his political articles. In 2010, he was the victim of a violent attack which has prompted protests, international media coverage and a response from the then president of Russia.


Kashin graduated from the Baltic State Fishing Fleet Academy with a degree in sea navigation in 2001. While studying, he wrote for Komsomolskaya Pravda in Kaliningrad where he expressed rather sharp views. He continued to work for that newspaper up to 2003, specializing on exclusive interviews and special reports,[1] then moved to Moscow and started working as a journalist for Komsomolskaya Pravda in Moscow. After a while he left the newspaper, became a staff writer at Kommersant and became the leading Russian journalist covering youth political movements, ranging broadly from NBP to Nashi. He left Kommersant in June 2005, dissatisfied with the dismissal of the director-general Andrei Vassiliev.[1]

After leaving Kommersant, he worked for various media including Russkiy zhurnal, Bolshoi Gorod, Izvestia, Your Day, Globalrus, as well as for the pro-Kremlin publications Re:aktsiya, Expert and Vzglyad in Moscow and the National Bolshevik publication Limonka.

Dmitry Medvedev meets Oleg Kashin after the assault on him, 2011

Kashin reported on a number of force majeure events, including the death of Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov, the destruction of hens infected with avian influenza in Novosibirsk Oblast and the burial of rescuers who died during the Beslan school hostage crisis. He was detained by militia and beaten several times while fulfilling his journalist duties.

In 2007 Kashin became a regular author and a deputy editor of the Ŗusskaya zhizn(The Russian Life)[2] magazine.[3] In 2009, Kashin returned to Kommersant as a special correspondent.[4]

Political activism[edit]

Kashin considered the political situation in Russia to be poor as there were many people sharing liberal values but no 'normal' right party nor any slightly 'left' social-democratic party, which he saw as a consequence of the surge of PR in Russia. When asked to give an estimate of the Russian authorities, Kashin said it was difficult because they are not uniform.[1] In a 2006 interview, Kashin said, "Hopefully, the last year forced all our people in the Kremlin to realize that if they would remain swines, they will be swept by 'orange surge'.[1] Kashin said of the Russian authorities and media that there was freedom of speech but on the other side, media are allowed to "stick to the most base instincts of audience to enhance ratings, in exchange for political loyalty."[1] He said that the Russian authorities are self-confident and "cease to think that there is such thing as media between authorities and society", an erroneous position that arose from the servient role of the media during the 1999 and 1996 elections or even during Perestroika,[5][6] and believes that the future of Russia is in need of energetic leadership.[1]

On October 6, 2006 Kashin published the article "Brightness and expression of virtual GULAG" on the controversy about the site "The Chronicles of Hell".[7] He drew the conclusion that the Russian liberal mindset allows for "lies for profits", illustrating his claim with the words said by Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky in December 1999 about Chechen fighters cutting throats of Russian soldiers before cameras: "In that way they are trying to make the war more convex, visible, vivid."[8][9]

In an article devoted to the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya on October 9, 2006, Kashin called Politkovskaya a "Newsmaker, rather than a journalist, moreover, a newsmaker of a strange kind, God's fool, standing in one row with Valeriya Novodvorskaya[10] and Viktor Anpilov." Kashin made a point that in modern Russia "there is no such horrid truth for which a journalist can be killed", because, according to Kashin,critique makes no impression on authorities: they just do not notice it.[11]

Considering the case of Andrey Sychev (in which a young conscript lost his legs and genitalia due to disease triggered by dedovschina), which caused dire resonance in Russian society, and made a negative imprint on the reputation of the former Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov, Oleg Kashin made a point that the case was largely fabricated:

The only proven episode... is that Sychev squatted for a while in front of now imprisoned junior sergeant Sivyakov.... All the other stuff was thought up by the chairman of Chelyabinsk Committee of Soldiers Mothers Lydmila Zinchenko, who, after giving a dozen of interviews to liberal media now cowardly conceals from investigators.[12]

2010 attack[edit]

Pickets near Militia Headquarters, 38 Petrovka St., Moscow to demand an investigation into the attack on Oleg Kashin

On November 6, 2010, Kashin was assaulted by unknown attackers near his home in Moscow.[13] He was hospitalized with several fractures.[14] Police are treating the attack as attempted murder.[15] President Medvedev has said that the assailants "must be found and punished".[15] Prior to the attack Kashin had been reporting on the proposal to build a highway through the Khimki Forest near Moscow.[15] His reporting covering youth political movements and political protests had also prompted aggressive responses from many pro-Kremlin groups, including the Young Guard of United Russia, a youth group associated with the United Russia political party, chaired by Vladimir Putin.[16] This attack is one of the subjects of the 2012 documentary Putin's Kiss.[17]

After 2010[edit]

In 2014, Kashin openly supported the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, calling it a restoration of historical justice[18] He has been covering the 2014 events in Crimea and the War in Donbass for the influential Russian nationalist publication Sputnik i Pogrom.[19][20]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Interview with Oleg Kashin Archived 2007-05-13 at the Wayback Machine., for Sreda.Org (in Russian).
  2. ^ rulife.ru
  3. ^ "Охьел Опюбдс". RuLife.ru. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  4. ^ Russian Wikipedia article on Kashin
  5. ^ Спутник и Погром
  6. ^ "Interview of Kashin to The New Chronicles". Novchronic.ru. 2006-08-27. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  7. ^ Virtual GULAG site
  8. ^ Babitsky's statement on Russian Radio Freedom on December 24, 1999.
  9. ^ Brightness and expression of virtual GULAG, Oleg Kashin, "Vzglyad" , October 2006.
  10. ^ Novodvorskaya, a prominent Soviet dissident, was incarcerated in a Soviet psychiatric prison for distributing leaflets with criticism of the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia; she described her experience in a book "Beyond despair"[citation needed].
  11. ^ Who killed Anna Politkovskaya?, Oleg Kashin, magazine "Vzglyad", October 9, 2006.
  12. ^ Lie in the case of private Sychev, Oleg Kashin, magazine "Vzglyad", February 2006.
  13. ^ Journalist severely beaten in Moscow, RIA Novosti, November 6, 2010.
  14. ^ В Москве жестоко избит журналист "Коммерсанта", Lenta.ru, November 6, 2010.
  15. ^ a b c Leading Russian reporter Oleg Kashin attacked in Moscow BBC
  16. ^ Russian Journalist Beaten in Moscow
  17. ^ Кашин сообщил, что «с концами» вернулся в Россию «Гордон», 10.06.2015
  18. ^ Кашин: Крым, конечно же, наш. Он всегда был несправедливой потерей [Kashin: Crimea is, of course, Russian. It has always been an unjust loss].
  19. ^ Russia Has Always Thought of Eastern Ukraine as Russian Land BY OLEG KASHIN - March 2, 2014
  20. ^ Олег Кашин: Репортаж из захваченного здания Донецкой обладминистрации (текст, фото, видео) [Oleg Kashin: Report from the captured building of the Regional Administration of Donetsk, 9 April 2014]

External links[edit]