An unknown assailant on Monday forced his way into the office of a Russian radio station that is critical of the Kremlin and stabbed a presenter in the neck before he was detained, the chief editor said. “Some man burst into the building, blinded the building’s security guard from a spray bottle, then came up to our floor,” said Echo of Moscow editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov.
“He broke in and stabbed our presenter Tatiana Felgengauer in the neck with a knife,” he added. “My security guards overcame him, and we handed him over to the police.” The journalist has been hospitalized but her life is not in danger, he said.
Russian media later said two assailants had entered the building, but only one managed to get to the radio station’s office. Another station employee Vitaly Ruvinsky posted on Twitter a photo of the disheveled man dressed in a black jacket and trousers seated in a chair.
Felgengauer is one of the station’s deputy editors and a longtime presenter of a morning news program. She is also actively involved in opposition rallies and has thousands of followers on her public Facebook page. Echo of Moscow is a well-known station that regularly invites Russian political opposition figures and is known for its critical views of the government despite energy giant Gazprom being the majority shareholder.
Russia has a disturbing record of attacks on journalists, with 58 killed since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Threats made against journalists often go unaddressed and attacks are not investigated. Another Echo of Moscow presenter Yulia Latynina this year left Russia after a series of attacks on her car and home.