Russia / 31-08-2012
St. Petersburg - The television hostess Ksenia Sobchak revealed and drew attention to an antisemitic scandal. Alexander Makarov, who heads the Committee on State Control, Use, and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture in St. Petersburg is suing the television hostess Ksenia Sobchak. The bureaucrat was upset by comments she made that accused him of antisemitism.
The previous night, Ms. Sobchak posted a twitter message that she had recently gained knowledge that Makarov had fired all of his Jewish employees.
Ms. Sobchak wrote, “I arrived in St. Petersburg and immediately learned that the head of the Committee on State Control, Use, and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture had demanded a complete list of all the Jewish (!) employees and fired them.” She added that a number of senior officials have verbally confirmed that this indeed happened.
“The information regarding Makarov's actions is very strange, but a number of senior bureaucrats have confirmed this. As a journalist, tomorrow I will demand the list of people who were fired,” the television hostess promised.
The committee that Makarov chairs has denied all the accusations made by K. Sobchak.
The office released a message in response to the accusations: “The Committee on State Control, Use, and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture includes members of many nationalities and religions. The only justification for firing any employee is his or her professional performance and not their ethnicity. The chair of the Committee on State Control, Use, and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture has never requested that such a list be made, either listing employees by nationality or by any other criteria. He has also never fired employees. The committee has worked and continues to work according to the existing regulations and ordinances.”
In another message, Alexander Makarov noted that he is planning to sue Sobchak for damage to his dignity and professional reputation.
The committee also demanded that Ms. Sobchak issue a public apology to Mr. Makarov at her soonest convenience, and indicate which “senior officials” confirmed that workers had indeed been fired for reasons connected to their nationality. They also demanded that she erase the aforementioned message from her Twitter feed.
Ms. Sobchak was quite surprised to hear about Makarov's plans to sue her. She posted on Twitter, “They have lost their minds. I clearly wrote “I was told” in parentheses. And I had already noted that this information was quite strange, to stay the least.”
Mr. Makarov has headed the Committee on State Control, Use, and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture since October 2011, when he replaced Vera Dementieva who was transferred to serve as the head of nature reserves and the national museum, Pavlovsk. Mr. Makarov past positions include working at Mr. Georgy Poltavchenko's assistant while the latter served as the Presidential Envoy to the Central Federal District.