A prominent female Russian journalist and lawyer has been hospitalized after being badly beaten during a visit to Russia’s Chechnya Republic.
Yelena Milashina, a reporter for the independent Moscow tri-weekly Novaya Gazeta, along with lawyer Alexander Nemov, was attacked on Tuesday as they walked from Grozny airport to court to attend the hearing of Zarema Museeva, the mother of three exiled critics. Were. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
In a recorded video interview with Novaya Gazeta, the reporter said that her assailants “knew what they were doing” and that they were “in a hurry”, reports CNN.
Milashina said she believed they intended to intimidate her and gain access to her and Nemov’s equipment.
“They beat us twice, they were very specific, they knew what they wanted, knew what their limits were, beyond which they could not go.”
“It was a classic kidnapping. They knocked our driver down, then threw him out of the car, climbed in, bent our heads down, tied my hands, made me kneel and put a gun to my head,” BBC journalist told BBC. quoted Nemov told the Russian Bar Association, “They threw us on the side of the road and started kicking us in the face, all over our bodies… They stabbed me in the leg.”
Milashina is seen in the video interview with bruises, her head shaved and painted green.
When asked about her hair, she says, “He did it.” “I don’t have any wounds, thank God, just bruises.”
Although the dye is used as an antiseptic, it has also been used in Russia in earlier attacks on dissidents including Alexei Navalny.
Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta said the perpetrators were unknown, adding that Milashina and Nemov were asked to make statements to the police at the hospital but refused.
The Kremlin called the incident “a very serious attack” that requires an investigation and serious measures.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the attack and the incident was being handled by the country’s human rights ombudsman, CNN reported.
Milashina had previously received death threats from Kadyrov, who has been Chechnya’s leader since 2007.
He has been widely accused of ordering extra-judicial killings, kidnapping and house torture.
Milashina briefly fled Russia in February 2022 after Kadyrov called her a terrorist and said, “We have always eliminated terrorists and their allies”.
He was attacked in 2020 along with another lawyer, Marina Dubrovina.
Her investigative reporting detailing human rights abuses in Chechnya follows in the footsteps of two women who were murdered there for similar work.
In 2006, Novaya Gazeta colleague Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow, while her friend and publicist Natalia Estemirova was abducted and shot in Grozny.