Vladimir Posner: Wikis


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Vladimir Posner
Vladimir Posner.jpg
Born Vladimir Vladimirovich Posner
April 1, 1934 (1934-04-01) (age 75)
Paris, France
Occupation Journalist
Official website

Vladimir Vladimirovich Posner (also spelled "Pozner"; in Russian, Владимир Владимирович Познер), born 1 April, 1934, is a Russian journalist best known in the West for appearing on television to represent and explain the views of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.[1] He was a memorable spokesman for the Soviets in part because he had grown up in the United States and spoke flawless American English with a New York accent.


Early life

Posner was born in Paris to a Russian-Jewish father and French mother. His father, Vladimir Aleksandrovich Pozner, was a Communist who emigrated to the United States. Young Vladimir attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan[2] before his family moved to the Soviet sector of East Berlin and later to Moscow in the early 1950s.


He worked as chief commentator for the North American service of the Radio Moscow network. In the early 1970s, he was a regular guest on Ray Briem's talk show on KABC in Los Angeles. During the 1980s, he was a favourite guest on Ted Koppel's Nightline. Posner was the host of Moscow Meridian, an English-language current affairs program focusing on the Soviet Union; the show was produced by Gosteleradio, the Soviet State Committee for Television and Radio and broadcast on the Satellite Program Network.[3] He also often appeared on The Phil Donahue Show; in 1986, the two co-hosted A Citizen's Summit, a bilateral, televised discussion (or "spacebridge") between audiences in the Soviet Union and the US, carried via satellite.[4] From 1991 to 1994 they also co-hosted Pozner/Donahue, a weekly, issues-oriented roundtable program, which aired both on CNBC and in syndication.[5]

In 1980 he called for arrest and exiling of Andrei Sakharov, an act for which he apologised in his 1990 autobiography Parting with Illusions.[6] He also wrote Eyewitness: A Personal Account of the Unraveling of the Soviet Union, the introduction to the Bantam Classics edition of The Communist Manifesto. Posner also worked for the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, a Soviet think tank.

In a 2005 interview with NPR's On the Media, Posner spoke openly about his role as a Soviet spokesman, stating bluntly, "What I was doing was propaganda." Comparing his former role to that of Karen Hughes, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, he commented that, "You know, as someone who's gone through this and someone who regrets having done what he's done, and who spent many, many years of his life, and I think probably the best years of my life, doing something that was wrong, I say it just isn't worth it".[7]

In 1997, Posner founded the School for Television Excellence («Школу телевизионного мастерства») in Moscow to educate and promote young journalists. He is president of the Russian Television Academy, which annually distributes the country's most prestigious TV awards. With his brother Pavel, he co-owns a French restaurant in Moscow, Жеральдин (Geraldine), named after their mother.


For many years during the Cold War, Vladimir Posner delivered the nightly "Radio Moscow News and Commentary" program on the North America Service with his signature greeting, "Thank you and good evening".

He was host of several shows, among them the US-Soviet Space Bridge "Mi", (translated "Us"); "Chelovek v maske", ("A Man in the Mask"). Today (2007) Posner hosts a political talk show on Russia's Channel One, the show named "Vremena", ("Times").[8]

He has a lively and unconstrained style of hosting, often firing poignant off-the-cuff remarks at his guests. He frequently comments on how this or that political or economic decision, presently at issue in his show, could affect the common people of Russia.[8]


  • Pozner, Vladimir (March 1991). Parting With Illusions: The Extraordinary Life and Controversial Views of the Soviet Union's Leading Commentator. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0380713493. 
  • Pozner, Vladimir (February 1992). Eyewitness: A Personal Account of the Unraveling of the Soviet Union. Random House. ISBN 978-0679412021. 


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Vladimir Vladimirovich Posner (also spelled Pozner) is a Russian journalist and TV-host.



  • We have a constitution, where it is plainly stated, that a person can serve as president for two consecutive terms. That doesn’t mean never afterwards. After four years he is welcome to try to run for president again. And mind, when I told this a major American figure just the other day, he said: “Your constitution is right, and ours is wrong, because we have it thus: two terms, that’s it, and never again. For instance, if we had it as in your constitution, now Bill Clinton would stand for president, and he would have won.” And basically I think that this is the right viewpoint, because if after a four-year break a person can be elected once more, well, obviously, he deserves it, that’s what I make of it. After all, four years is a big stretch of time. So, I guess president Putin shares this viewpoint as well. That is why he does not alter the constitution, he firmly refuses to do so. I am sorry to say that not all people share this viewpoint. Well, Nikita Mikhalkov, for one, or Zurab Tsereteli, who wrote to president and by that said to him, as it were: don’t you care for that constitution, change it, then go ahead and stay for third term. And speaker of Federation Council, head of “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” party Sergey Mironov is expostulating with president on not altering, but outskirting the constitution, and still staying for third term.
  • And for those gentlemen, and also for those sharing their viewpoint, the constitution is just a piece of paper, nothing more. You can twist it any way you like. I understand that what I am about to say, will set many of my critics indignant, but I’ll have to live with that, actually I am quite used to it all. I would like to compare president Putin with the first president of the USA George Washington. But in one aspect only, that. Washington had been elected for two terms, and when the time came for third term, he said: “We did not get rid of the English king to make our own.” And refused to run for third term. And by that he created a precedent, which was not violated in America, well, for almost 140 years. It was first breached only by president Roosevelt at the beginning of World War II, and the amendment to the constitution, the so-called twenty-second, was ratified in 1952, when the number of terms was limited.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)
  • I do not know how Vladimir Putin will be esteemed by the future history, but I have no doubt that among his successes and advantages for Russia historians shall absolutely note the fact of his not altering the constitution, for he created a precedent. And afterwards, no matter who might become president, it shall be extremely difficult to alter the constitution exactly on that point. Extremely difficult.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)
  • So, I mean to say, as for those who are proving their allegiance with what I would call sickening perseverance, and who are urging the president to brush away the constitution, those I would like to remind of a Russian proverb: “Don’t spit into the well, it’ll come in handy once you’re thirsty.
    • Closing speech (27 October 2007)

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