Kommersant


Kommersant
   Newspaper. Kommersant is a high-circulation quality daily business newspaper. In Russian, the word kommersant means “businessman” or “merchant.” The newspaper provides information on international and Russian business, financial news, and general reporting on politics, economy, society, culture, and sport. The newspaper was initially published in 1909 but was closed by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
   At the height of perestroika, in 1989, the newspaper was relaunched under the ownership of businessman and correspondent for Ogoniok magazine, Vladimir Yakovlev. In order to demonstrate the link to Russia’s pre-Bolshevik cultural tradition, Yakovlev introduced a letter ъ at the end of the newspaper’s title: this letter, the terminal hard sign, was abolished during the postrevolution Russian spelling reform. This letter is also incorporated into the newspaper’s logo.
   In 1997, Boris Berezovsky bought the Kommersant publishing house, which in addition to the Kommersant newspaper, included two magazines: one focusing on Russian politics, KommersantVlast’, and one specializing in finance, Kommersant-Den’ gi, as well as other publications such as the popular family magazine Domovoi. In 2005, Berezovsky sold the newspaper to Badri Patarkatsishvili, who then sold it to Alisher Usmanov, the head of a Gazprom subsidiary. Changes in ownership incurred numerous resignations, including multiple editors-in-chief. In 2009, the newspaper manager was Demian Kudriavtsev and the editor-in-chief was Azer Mursaliev. Originally a weekly publication, the paper expanded in 1992, styling itself as Russia’s first business daily. In 2005, the circulation of the newspaper was 131,000 copies per day. Since February 2009, the paper has also been published in Great Britain. The newspaper has employed some innovative publishing practices, including publishing its articles upside down as a form of political protest. The newspaper’s multimedia website (www.kommersant.ru/) is linked to other Kommersant publishing projects, making it one of the largest multimedia platforms in Russian media.
   In 2007, Ivan Safronov, Kommersant’s military affairs journalist and columnist, fell from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment; although his death was ruled a suicide, it is widely assumed he was murdered for his critical coverage of the military.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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