The authorities wish to turn [oppositional] Echo Moskvi [radio station] into an echo of the [pro-governmental] Channel One. Replacements in the Board of Directors of this radio station is a step in this direction. It is a direct state pressure on the media, and not only on Echo Moskvi. This is a warning demonstrating to the Russian citizens what will happen after presidential elections.

This step is made now because the situation in the country and in the society has been changing. It is not surprising that the reaction [of the authorities] is reprisals. The authorities simply have not had any other experience. And we should be ready to such a reaction.

But the key thing in this situation is that the movement that has begun in the society can not be halted by either reprisals or bribing habitual for the authorities.

People want freedom and have begun to realize that their personal freedom, independence, self-reliance are impossible without political freedom, without modern competitive policies

The “crack down” will not stop the formation of this need. On the opposite, the more they extend the “crackdown’, the more obvious it is that there is a shortage of freedom. And the need for freedom will only grow. This is the logics of our history.

What is happening with Echo Moskvi shows that we are facing serious hardships and hard work.