Severodvinsk: FSB Taboos Nikitin Topic for Media

Publish date: November 2, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

SEVERODVINSK (Bellona Web): The Severodvinsk branch of the Russian security police (FSB) has recommended the local journalists not to touch the Nikitin case. The warning has come after a local newspaper published an article in Nikitin's favour.

The two city newspapers in Severodvinsk are quite reluctant to publish any reports on the Nikitin case. The editors of the newspapers explain it by the fact that the local branch of the FSB has put a constant pressure on them by "recommending" to stay away from the case.

Severodvinsk is a city located in Arkhanglesk County where two major shipyards for building and repairing of submarines – Sevmash and Zvezdochka – are situated. Severodvinsk is engaged heavily in decommissioning of the nuclear-powered submarines pulled out of service, so the radwaste issues presented in the Bellona report co-authored by Aleksandr Nikitin are quite familiar to the city.

Georgy Mezentsev, who wrote the last positive article on the Nikitin case in the local daily Severny Rabochy, received a telephone call from an FSB officer who recommended "not to touch this topic any further."

Meanwhile, on several occasions the local newspapers were forced to reprint articles published in the leftist newspapers in Moscow where Nikitin was described as a traitor.

The Bellona Northern Fleet report is prohibited for distribution in the city and is a subject to immediate confiscation if discovered in private possession. The report, however, can be found and read in a special "secret library" located on the territory of Sevmash shipyard. The library contains materials stamped as "classified" and gives access only to those with the security clearance.