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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: May 5, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Aleksandr Rubtsov, NSN Editor, Radio Host Found Murdered in Home; Colleagues Say 'Not Related' to Work
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Aleksandr Rubtsov, editor of National News Service (NSN) in Moscow, and a host of radio programs, was found murdered in his apartment by his mother, NSN reported.

Although Rubtsov was murdered May 3, the notice of his murder appeared only today, May 5. His mother, who had come to visit her son from their provincial home town of Kaluga for the national holidays, discovered his body on the evening of May 3. Rubtsov was said to be acquainted with the murderer, and the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department says they have a photo of the likely perpetrator. 

Rubtsov's colleagues at NSN write that their editor "died a torturous death." His body was found with multiple bruises indicating a beating, and deep stab wounds. In a notice on the NSN site, journalists wrote:

We don't know who did this. For sure, this is not related to his professional activity. For sure, this was an acquaintance that Sasha himself let into his apartment.

His apartment on Academika Pavlova Street was robbed.

While there are no public materials suggesting Rubtsov was gay, the implications that his death could be related to a lifestyle seems to be surfacing with coy comments that he was 35, a bachelor "and had no family" by Moskovsky Komsomolets and other news sites publishing the news of his death along with the information that last month, Dmitry Tsilikin, a St. Petersburg journalist who was gay was murdered as well (the suspect is an anti-gay neo-Nazi.) Masha Gessen, a Russian American journalist, has written about the way such deaths of LGBT people get covered in the Russian media.

In the comments on the news of Rubtsov's murder on Ekho Moskvy, some readers express horror at the increasingly crime-ridden Putin era, despite the perception that Putin ended a crime wave when he came to power in 2000. But one reader writes, "the latest gay to invite a student home for tea from a dating site"?

In fact Moskovsky Komsomolets said that the reason police concluded Rubtsov let the likely murderer into the apartment is that they found no signs of a break-in, which does not necessarily mean he knew the visitor.

In any event, the murder of a second journalist recently, seemingly unrelated to his work despite his status as a public figure, will cause some to speculate that more may be involved in the cases that ordinary crime.

Rubtsov was host to shows on Nashe Radio, Rock FM, Best FM and Radio JAZZ; his colleagues published his last show on April 29.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick