Komsomolskaya Pravda’s Re-write

May 21, 2013
Uliana Skoybeda: Photo from her Facebook page

[Uliana Skoybeda is a longtime commentator for Komosomolskaya Pravda known for making outlandish arguments, such as being opposed to black soccer players on Russian teams. A recent Skoybeda column, the subtitle of which lamented that Nazis didn’t make “lamp shades” of the ancestors of today’s Russian liberals and blaming them for revisionist views on Russia’s role in World War II, went viral. This prompted opposition journalist Oleg Kashin to argue that Skoybeda is a professional gadfly and Kremlin mouthpiece who lives to antagonize intellectuals and should therefore be ignored.— Ed.]

The editors at the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper have removed the controversial subtitle from the article about Leonid Gozman by Uliana Skoybeda in which the author wished that the Nazis killed the ancestors of today’s liberals. On May 15 the phrase “At times you wish that Nazis made lamp shades from the ancestors of today’s liberals. We would have fewer problems now” was replaced with “Liberals revise history to try to knock the ground out from under our feet”.

In social media you can still find a screenshot of the original version. Also, the phrase about lamp-shades (абажуры) can be searched on the Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) website.

The article by Uliana Skoybeda, titled “A Politician Leonid Gozman Declared That A Nice Uniform Is the Only Difference Between SMERSH and SS,” was published on the KP website on May 13. In that article, the columnist commented on the post by Gozman on the “Echo of Moscow” website, in which the politician criticized a TV series about the World War II military counterintelligence units known as “SMERSH”. Skoybeda mentioned that liberals started to actively discuss that subject on the Internet, calling the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of those times) a “criminal terrorist organization” and comparing Stalin to Hitler.

Skoybeda argued that liberals intentionally “redefine and spit on everything that is related to the war” and “lead us away from Victory towards becoming losers.” The article concludes with these words: “And you know what? In this case what these liberals do is nothing but subversion. Sabotage. And what about our special services? Would they like to recall the SMERSH experience?”

The journalist’s column and the words about lamp shades that Nazis should have made from the ancestors of today’s liberals caused quite a stir in the internet community. Boris Akunin, a popular writer, noted that “by modern European standards this would give rise to a criminal case, and the newspaper would be shut down.”

Uliana Skoybeda has worked for Komsomolskaya Pravda since 1997. Her specialization is social issues. As the description on the website says, Skoybeda “is involved in investigative reporting and sometimes writes essays about life in Moscow.” Uliana Skoybeda is a winner of the “Iskra” (spark) national prize for investigative journalism. Some previous articles by Skobeyda, for example about Dina Rubina, an author, and Alexei Kabanov, a restaurant owner who killed his wife, also caused quite a lot of controversy.