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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: August 22, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Novaya Gazeta and Ekho Moskvy Journalist Yuliya Latynina Attacked En Route to Work
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On this past Saturday evening, August 20, unidentified attackers hurled a bucket of feces at Irina Latynina, Novaya Gazeta reported.

Latynina said on an Ekho Moskvy program that she was on her way to host her radio show Kod Dostupa ("Access Code") when the incident occurred. She parked her car about 3 kilometers away from the studio as she usually does because she enjoys walking through New Arbat. She believes the attackers knew her route and waited for her. A man in a motorcycle helmet -- so that she couldn't see his face -- approached her and dumped the bucket on her, drenching her from head to foot. Despite carrying a heavy bag, she tried to run after him but he jumped on the back of another man's motorcycle and they escaped. It took her a half an hour to wash off the feces.

Apparently someone was offended on behalf of Mr. Prigozhin. I don't know, who. I can't imagine who could be offended on behalf of Mr. Prigozhin. But I know for sure...I think Mr. Gromov and Mr. Peskov and even Vladimir Putin personally know the name of this person who was offended on Prigozhin's behalf.

Dmitry Peskov is spokesman for the presidential administration and Andrei Gromov is first deputy chief of staff of the presidential executive office.

Latynina, an outspoken radio host and columnist who works for both Ekho Moskvy and Novaya Gazeta, believes the attack could be related to Novaya Gazeta pieces and several Ekho Moskvy shows in which she discussed the attacks on bloggers and opposition people in St. Petersburg near their homes which was believed to be connected to a site that leaked their personal addresses discovered to be tied to Dmitry Prigozhin, the owner of the "Troll Farm" and President Vladimir Putin's personal chef.

Novaya Gazeta said in a statement about the attack on Latynina:

We have not yet been able to connect the attack on our columnist Yuliya Latynina with the name of the "Kremlin chef" Yevgeny Prigozhin specifically, as there is no direct evidence. But we cannot help but note the trend whereby not the government and its authorized bodies but self-proclaimed pseudo-patriots have taken upon themselves the function of henchmen. And they even publicly chose their victims.

As RFE/RL's Russian Service Radio Svoboda reports, journalists and bloggers came to the defense of Latynina, noting that she suffered an attempt on her life about 15 years ago.

Translation: The attack on Latynina is the latest act of government gansterism. All of these NODs and "Serb" and so on are protected by and organized by the police.

NOD is the National Liberation Movement and SERB is the acronym for South East Radical Bloc. 

Translation: On the attack on Yuliya Latynina.

Shenderovich said that while Latynina could wash off the smell, the police who enable this sort of attack "cannot remove the stench from their biographies." 

Translation: A disgrace! Today idiots poured feces not only on Latynina but all our journalism. If the government doesn't defend her, they will pour on them, too.

Novaya Gazeta has asked the police to open up a criminal case and is continuing to investigate.

Independent journalists and opposition members have suffered a string of attacks tied either to Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov and Chechen military or to Prigozhin or various ultranationalist groups such as the National Liberation Movement, headed by United Russia MP Yevgeny Fyodorov. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick