The deputy editor-in-chief for Russia’s leading news radio station was stabbed by an unknown attacker who burst into its studios Monday — the latest of a string of attacks on journalists and opposition activists in Moscow.
The assailant broke into its studios of Ekho Moskvy, which has often been described as Russia’s only independent news radio station, and stabbed Tatyana Felgenhauer in the throat, editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said.
The man sprayed gas in the face of a security guard at the entrance to the office building on the ground floor and went up to the 14th floor where the station’s studios are.
“The man came here on purpose, he knew where he was going,” Venediktov told reporters.
Felgenhauer, who is best known for co-hosting a popular morning show, has been taken to hospital and her life is not in danger, the station said.
Ekho Moskvy’s searing criticism has irked many in the Russian government, and its hosts and journalists have reported death threats previously.
Another popular Ekho Moskvy host, Yulia Latynina, fled Russia in September following a suspected arson attack on her car.
The spokesman for the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office described the attack as “outrageous” and said prosecutors will investigate the case closely.
The Tass news agency quoted Moscow police as saying they suspect the man had a personal grudge against Felgenhauer.
State-owned media have long targeted Ekho Moskvy for its critical reporting.
The state television channel Rossiya 24 put out a report two weeks ago that described the station as an “arm of the U.S. State Department” that gets paid for “destabilizing society” ahead of Russia’s presidential election in March.
Columnist Oleg Kashin, who survived in a brutal attack in 2010 which was never properly investigated, said on the Dozhd television station that Felgenhauer’s “blood is on the hands of people from Rossiya 24, too.”
Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, says the failure of Russian authorities to respond to the recurrent attacks and threats against independent journalists, activists and opposition leaders have made such attacks possible. – AP