Oh, No, Here Comes Joe

Accompanied by a two-man television crew and three state vegetable inspectors, Victor Shinkaretsky bursts through the doors of a small family- leased vegetable store just around the corner from the Kremlin. Startled customers watch as he begins rummaging through the beets, potatoes and carrots. "We're checking for nitrates," Shinkaretsky explains, as the inspectors set up their portable laboratory equipment.

Soft-spoken and unassuming in private, Victor Shinkaretsky is a bulldog on the job and on the air. Appearing several times a week on Good Evening, Moscow!, a prime-time television show that specializes in covering everyday headaches in the capital, Shinkaretsky is the...

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