Dear Mr. Korn,
I am Leonid Vladimirovich Finkelstein, 88, British, former RL Russian Service Editor-in-Chief. In 1979 I resigned, then joined the BBC Russian Service. In 2006 retired.
I watched the video of your meeting with the Russians in Moscow and appreciated your difficult position : to face an angry and rude croud. At the end of the meeting , however, I came to the strange conclusion, to say the least. I understood that you simply do not know the ONLY mission of Radio Liberty.
In the presence of the Voice of America, launching another and expensive broadcaster to the Soviet Union in 1953 looked rather illogical. Former Director of Radio Liberty, Francis S. Ronalds , perfectly explained it in his article published in the “Foreign Affairs”.
The US Congress, wrote Mr Ronalds, would not appropriate a penny for the radio which would repudiate socialism or teach Russians democracy. The only justification of the existence of RL was the fact that the Soviet Union possessed nuclear weapons .
The unpredictable rulers of the USSR may lie to the Soviet population that the US has launched or is about to launch a nuclear strike – to justify their own attack (which actually was attempted later in placing nuclear missiles in Cuba) . Therefore the ONLY mission of the RL was to tell the truth and to assure the Russians that no one would ever use nuclear weapon first against them .
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In short, Radio Liberty had to contribute to prevention of nuclear war.
This ONLY mission remains unchanged today – especially when we hear loud sabre rattling from the still unpredictable Kremlin.
As you don’t know this , Sir, I must ask you to resign from your sensitive and important job.
I may send copies of this letter to the relevant US authorities.
Mr. S. Korn,
10 000 Prague,
Czech Republic. 1st November, 2012.