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A Troublesome Visitor

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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UNITY PARTIERS Medvedev and predecessor With the recent inauguration of new president Dmitry Medvedev, how have things changed in Russia? Is the authoritarian freeze of the Vladimir Putin years starting to melt into a glorious new spring of freedom? Mark Ames, founder of Russian newspaper the Exile (and Radar contributor) will provide occasional dispatches in pursuit of an answer to that question ... if the authorities don't lock him up first.

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Thursday morning, Moscow time, four Russian government officials came to the office of my English-language newspaper, the Exile, and conducted an "unplanned audit" of our editorial content. They are carrying out an inspection of my paper's articles to see, in their words, if we have committed "violations." And they specifically asked to question me, since I'm officially listed as the founding editor-in-chief.

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