Times of India apologises to Russia on a piece, termed “fake news”

14th February 2021

14th February 2021

Responding to a strong letter written by Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kushadev, The Times of India on Saturday apologised to Russia. Kushadev had taken strong exception to an article published in the newspaper which he had termed as "fake news". Something that was biased against Russia, a "bias that was widely spread in the West", Kushadev had said in his letter to the media house.

In his letter addressed to TOI Chief Editor Jaideep Bose, Kushadev had expressed his disappointment with the write-up, "Does Soft Power Matter?". In the article, writer Swagato Ganguly had hailed a Russian rebel leader Alexei Navalny. Ganguly had claimed that Navalny was poisoned by Russian spy agencies.

Ganguly had claimed that India was now influenced by the model of governance being followed by Russian political boss Vladimir Putin. He said that the Putinist model gave preference to unity over diversity and pluralism. In tune with this model, the freedom of NGOs and media is being abridged in India, the author had claimed.

Kushadev said he was sorely disappointed with the newspaper for disrespecting Russian national symbols, the flag and coat of arms. The paper is "full of reprinted fake news and biased attitude towards Russia", he added.

The Russian Ambassador pointed out that the article villified Putin, someone who was widely respected not only in his country, but India and other like-minded nations. In response, the TOI has issued as apology, saying: We apologise for any hurt caused by an illustration; there was no intention to disrespect the national symbols of Russia. As for the article, we publish a wide range of independent views - Editor.

 

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