UP/UPI Had a Storied History of Moscow Correspondents

Here's one of the "Gems from Wire Service History" compiled by the late Unipresser Richard Harnett of San Francisco:



Frank J. Taylor of United Press was the first correspondent to get into Russia after the Revolution. He sneaked in in 1919 and was able to get the first contract for news exchange from ROSTA (the predecessor of TASS), although it was not implemented.

The first correspondent entering Russia "authorized" by the Soviet was John Graudenz of UP, a Milwaukee native who entered Russia in 1922 and disappeared several years later. He turned up in Germany during WWII, executed as a spy in December 1942.

Frederick Kuh of UP was sent to Russia in 1922. Eugene Lyons was dispatched to Russia as UP corespondent in 1927 and remained there for about six years.

All of the above were there before The Associated Press or Reuters had a Moscow bureau, and before The New York Times was represented.

Karl Bickel sent those guys, except maybe Taylor, because he knew they were sympathetic to the Revolution. Lyons was recruited from the TASS New York bureau. Bickel wanted people there who might be accepted by Stalin & Co. All correspondents conformed to the needs of getting their copy through the Kremlin censors.

After a few years in Moscow, Lyons saw what was going on in the Soviet Union -- starvation etc. He was disillusioned and was pulled out by Bickel when his dispatches began to offend the Soviet dictatorship.

Henry Shapiro was hired in Moscow in 1933, and everyone recognizes him as the greatest correspondent ever in the Moscow post.

Harrison Salisbury was UP Moscow in 1943 when he was hired away by The New York Times.

Walter Cronkite was UP Moscow in 1946.

A dozen other great UP/UPI reporters, like Whit Bassow, John Korengold and Elaine Mosby, were UP Moscow correspondents.