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Vladimir Posner
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    (April 1, 1934- )
    Born in Paris, France
    Last name also frequently spelled ‘Pozner’
    Chief commentator on North American affairs for Radio Moscow
    Frequent guest on Nightline and Donahue
    Hosted several televised discussions between audiences in the Soviet Union and the US, including ‘Moscow Calling San Diego’ (1985), ‘Citizens Summit I: Leningrad/Seattle’ (1985) and ‘Citizens Summit 2: Leningrad/Boston’ (1986)
    Co-hosted the CNBC program ‘Pozner/Donahue’ (1991-94)
    Hosts ‘Posner’ on Russia’s Channel One (2010- )
    Hired by NBC as a commentator for the Sochi Winter Olympics (2014)
    His father spied for the NKVD (the predecessor of the KGB).
    He claimed to have attended Columbia University, but the school records show otherwise.
    He served as an apologist for such acts as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the shooting down of Korean Air Lines flight 007.
    He claimed the Soviet government never interfered with his commentary, but conceded ‘I knew my limits.’
    His frequent appearances on American TV prompted Ronald Reagan to complain, ‘I don't know why the hell the media is so willing to lend support to the Soviets.’
    He gave in to demands from Vladimir Putin to blacklist opposition politicians from his show.
    He was popular with the American media because he spoke without a Russian accent. (Because he had been raised largely in New York City until his parents returned to the Soviet Union during the McCarthy-era Red Scare.)
    One media critic said he was ‘able to defend seemingly indefensible Soviet positions with awesome earnestness.’
    He said, ‘What I have tried to do in my limited way is to help Soviets understand Americans in a more, how shall I put this, in a more human way.’
    He used his show to criticize the arrests of Pussy Riot and a Russian law banning ‘gay propaganda.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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