Tatyana Felgenhauer, a well-known Russian radio host, was stabbed in the neck Monday at a radio station in Moscow. This is the latest in a string of attacks against activists and journalists who are in opposition to the Putin government, The Associated Press reported.
What’s the story?
● Felgenhauer is deputy editor-in-chief at Ekho Moskvy, an independent radio station.
● A man with a knife burst into the Russian radio station.
● The intruder pepper-sprayed a security guard on the ground floor in order to gain entrance to the building, the AP said.
● The AP reported the man went to the 14th floor where the studios are located, burst into Felgenhauer’s studio, and stabbed her in the neck.
● Felgenhauer is said to routinely criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, Business Insider reported.
● Felgenhauer underwent surgery and is hospitalized in serious condition. She is expected to survive, the AP said.
What do we know about the alleged attacker?
● The unidentified accused assailant has been apprehended by police.
● “The man came here on purpose, he knew where he was going,” the station’s editor-in-chief, Alexei Venediktov, said, according to the AP.
● The AP reported that the suspect told investigators he had been in “telepathic contact with Felgenhauer” for five years and claimed the journalist was “haunting” him.
What do we know about the radio station?
● Ekcho Moskvy is described as Russia’s leading and only independent news radio station, Fox News reported.
● It is majority-owned by a media arm of the state-controlled Gazprom natural gas giant.
● The station’s “searing criticism [of the Kremlin] has irked many in the Russian government, and the station’s hosts and journalists have reported death threats previously,” the Merced Sun-Star reported.
● Rossiya 24, a state TV channel, recently 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, according to the Merced Sun-Star.
● Last month, Yulia Latynina, another popular radio host at the station, fled Russia following a suspected arson attack on her car, the Merced Sun-Star reported.
How have Russian police responded to the attack?
● The Russian prosecutor general’s office described the attack as “outrageous” and said prosecutors will investigate the case closely, a spokesman told reporters following the attack.
How have journalists fared in Russia lately?
● According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least a dozen Russian journalists have been murdered over the last decade, 58 since 1993.
● Dmitry Popkov, chief editor of the independent local newspaper Ton-M in Siberia, was found shot to death with five bullet wounds in his backyard on May 24, 2017. He was known for his investigative reports alleging abuse of power and corruption, as well as his criticism of officials of the ruling United Russia party.
● In March 2016, masked men stopped a minibus carrying a group of journalists who were investigating human rights abuse in Russia’s North Caucasus. The men beat up everyone inside the bus and set it on fire, The News Tribune reported.
● Columnist Oleg Kashin was nearly beaten to death in a brutal attack in 2010, which he alleges was never properly investigated. Business Insider reported that Kashin told Russian elevision station, Dozhd, that Felgenhauer’s “blood is on the hands of people from Rossiya 24, too.”
● Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist known for her in-depth reporting that exposed human rights violations in Chechnya, was shot and killed in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building on Oct. 7, 2006. She was a ferocious critic of Putin, in particular of his conducting of the war against Chechen separatists, according to The News Tribune.