Our group spent a couple of hours with Vladimir Pozner while in Moscow. In case you may not know him, he is and has been, Russia's #1 TV Icon for about 50 years. As always, he was cordial, frank and fascinating.
I extracted a 30-minute piece out of a longer version to give you what is probably the most salient part of the interview. It follows:
Vladimir Pozner Ukraine, Crimea, Journalism and Putin
In case you wish to view the longer version, it can be clicked on next.
This piece is about an hour and half and contains the above 30 minute extract.
In 2004 we brought 100 Russian entrepreneurs to Washington to get "how to" information from the world's top 15 Embassies whose countries had reduced corruption significantly. Vladimir hosted all 100 on his weekly show which was televised across 11 time zones. Four of the 100 sat at his round table and described their stories about dealing with Russia's endemic corruption. The other 96 had hand-operated devices with which they voted on each question asked. It was a first ever time for these entrepreneurs to speak publicly about the corruption that was strangling their small businesses.
In 2007 Vladimir showed up in a dingy District Court in StPetersburg where I was being sued for $400k for a broken pipe in my flat which had supposedly destroyed two Bechstein grand pianos below, along with assorted antique furniture, a closet of full length furs, 60 pair of Italian shoes, on and on and on. The suit was pressed by one of the grand divas of the Marienskii Theatre. Vladimir strolled into court as though he belonged there and made it known he was watching. He stayed the entire day, counseling me during breaks. I'm forever grateful, since no doubt his presence reduced the suit to below $60K plus a few other costs.