5/13/01 at 8:00 PM
Just last month, news magazine Itogi was the topical, free-speaking voice of a new Russia. Then came a hostile boardroom takeover by a state-owned company, and a total turnover of the staff. Suddenly Itogi, no longer affiliated with NEWSWEEK, is looking like a distant cousin of the old Soviet rag, Pravda. No Putin-criticisms, nothing on Chechnya. News from inside the Kremlin? No way, comrade. Itogi's first "foreign" news section featured a Soviet-style editors' attack on Star Wars 2001, and its science news was no less recherche: how to clone Lenin. "A second coming is possible," readers were assured, for the Great Leader's DNA is in "good shape." Winds of change may be blowing in the new Russia, but surely the stale blast from Itogi won't be welcome everywhere.