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Times of India criticises ‘Putinist model’ to pull India down, apologises to Russia for disrespecting their national symbol: Details

A report was published by Times of India on February 11, titled "Does Soft Power Matter?", that had hailed a Russian rebel leader.

On Saturday, the Times of India issued an apology to Russia after the Russian Ambassador to India slammed the media group for disrespecting country’s symbols and flags in one of their reports.

Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev had written a scathing letter to Times of India expressing disappointment over an objectionable depiction of Russian national symbols in one of its recently published article.

In a letter written to Times of India’s Chief Editor Jaideep Bose, HE Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India, said that he was deeply disappointed with the media group for publishing a report that is nothing but fake news and biased attitudes towards Russia that are widely spread in the West.

A report was published by Times of India on February 11, titled “Does Soft Power Matter?”, that had hailed a Russian rebel leader. The author had made some assertions based on Western media reports claiming that Alexei Navalny took on the Russian state power with an act of ‘extraordinary chutzpah’.

In the article, the author Swagato Ganguly had claimed that Navalny was poisoned by Russian spy agencies. The article had also said that India is being influenced by the Putinist model, which according to him was giving preference to unity over diversity and pluralism, including abridging of NGOs and media is abridged and seeing ‘dissent and disagreement as ‘anti-national’.

The Times of India report on Russia

Deeply disappointment with the depiction of Russian symbols, fake news on Russia, says Russian Ambassador

Responding to the article published by Times of India, the Russian Ambassador said that with deep disappointment they have noticed the way the Russian national symbols — the flag and coat of arms — were objectionably depicted in the article.

The letter read, “More to say, we were perplexed with the way the author of the article sees the essence of soft power, not to mention the fact that the paper is full of reprinted fake news and biased attitudes towards Russia, which are widely spread in the West.”

“When someone appeals in social media to go to streets, disseminate fakes provoking chaos and clashes with the security forces, it is called differently — coup d’etat attempt. And, for sure, such a person can not be considered as a reliable source of information for an article, especially when it comes to the matters of slandering the leader of the country, who is in fact widely respected not only in Russia but also here in India and other friendly and like-minded countries.”

Following the letter by the Russian Ambassador, the Times of India’s Editor has issued an apology for the hurt caused by the illustration.

Apology added to the article by Times of India

He added that there was no intention to disrespect the national symbols of Russia and claimed that they publish a wide range of independent views.

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