Category : Russia
Russia: editor beaten
Yet another journalist has been brutally attacked in Russia. Maria Eismont
Yuri Grachev, editor-in-chief of a local newspaper, was badly beaten on 3 February near his house in Solnechnogorsk, a town of 60,000 some 65 km north-west of Moscow. He was sent to the hospital unconscious with cuts on his face and severe concussion, but doctors say his life is not in danger.
Grachev, a 72-year-old retired colonel and local deputy, was publisher, editor and most likely the main if not the only journalist for the newspaper Solnechnogorskiy Forum
. The paper has no website and is not even listed among local newspapers on the town’s main web resources, so in other circumstances this attack could have gone unnoticed.
But if the assailants were hoping not to cause a sensation, they’ve chosen wrong time. The story of Mikhail Beketov
, of opposition newspaper Khimkinskaya Prabvda
, who was beaten nearly to death in November, continues to make national and international headlines. Not to mention the murders
of Beketov’s lawyer Stanislav Markelov and young journalist Anastasiya Baburova from Novaya Gazeta
in the centre of Moscow last month.
Moreover, the Solnechnogorsk attack happened just as Interior Ministry officials were declaring that the majority of murders of journalists are not related to their professional activity. ‘Most often these are domestic crimes. The percentage of journalists killed for their publications and investigations is relatively low,’ Valery Gribakin from the Russian Interior Ministry public relations department recently said.
Colleagues say Grachev’s paper was critical of the authorities, and exposed corruption. The next issue is due on 10 February, and it is believed to carry out more revelations ahead of the elections.
‘If we look at Grachev’s newspaper from the point of view of international journalism standards, we may find his stories not very objective,’ one local reporter told Index on Censorship
. ‘But today opposition is itself a rare phenomenon, especially in the towns like ours, and this is his main value. His newspaper is the only oppositional media in our region.’
Various observers agree that the attack was aimed at putting Grachev out of action at least until 1 March --- election day for many Russian regions. It is hard to predict how those attacks against journalists will affect the electoral choices of local communities.
We are not afraid
This article by Yelena Milashina was originally published in Novaya Gazeta The killers have no fear because they know they will not be punished. But neither are their victims afraid, because when you defend others you cease to fear On 19 January in the centre of Moscow Anastasiya Baburova, a journalist with Novaya Gazeta, and […]
Russia: crimes without punishment
The murder of Anastasiya Baburova (right) and Stanislav Markelov is part of a brutal trend. Russians who stand up for human rights may pay with their lives, says Tanya Lokshina
Novaya Gazeta reporter shot
Anastasiya Baburova, a reporter for Novaya Gazeta, the Russian newspaper funded by Alexander Lebedev, was seriously wounded in a shooting incident in Moscow earlier today.
Alexander Lebedev and the art of owning newspapers
The UK press is buzzing with the news of Russian Alexander Lebedev’s takeover of London’s Evening Standard. So what can Standard staff expect? Abramovich-style injections of cash? Possibly not: less than two months ago, Novaya Gazeta, the Russian paper funded in large part by Lebedev, ditched a large number of staff and freelancers. Read Maria […]
Editor’s pick 2008: Matthew Bown
A return to law and order, national pride and upright morals is colliding with Russia’s exuberant and scandal-seeking art world, writes Matthew Bown for Index on Censorship magazine’s Amnesty award-winning ‘How Free is the Russian Media’ issue. Read here
Robert Chandler on a history lesson in intimidation tactics
Russian collective memory of the various catastrophes to which the country has been subjected during the last 100 years has long been extremely selective. While there are a huge number of grandiose memorials to those who died in the Second World War (usually referred to as ‘The Great Patriotic War’), there are very few memorials […]