A Russian opposition journalist has been hospitalised after she was stabbed in the neck by an assailant who broke into the liberal radio station Echo of Moscow where she works.
The stabbing of Tatiana Felgenhauer follows state television smear pieces against the radio station and a series of attacks that forced another Echo of Moscow host to flee the country.
Ms Felgenhauer, the well-known deputy editor of the station and an outspoken Kremlin critic, had been hosting a talk show when an unknown attacker stabbed her in the neck.
He had blinded a guard with pepper spray, before barging into the station's offices and running down the corridor to where she was, editor Alexei Venediktov told Novaya Gazeta newspaper.
Ms Felgenhauer was hospitalised in stable condition, he said.
Photographs published by a staff member of Echo of Moscow showed blood splattered across the floor and what appeared to be a switchblade knife. A middle-aged man was being detained by police in the photographs.
“The attacker didn't yell anything, everything was calm and silent. He came up, hugged her and inflicted the injury,” deputy editor Sergei Buntman told the news outlet Meduza.
Russia's investigative committee has opened an attempted murder case, identifying the attacker only as a 48-year-old man. The interior ministry said he was a foreign citizen and that his motive was “personal hatred”.
State news agency RIA Novosti reported he was a citizen of Israel.
News agency Interfax quoted a law enforcement source as saying that the crime was not connected with Ms Felgenhauer's journalistic activities and that it was likely a case of “hooliganism”. Echo of Moscow staff rejected this explanation, however.
“A personal conflict between Tanya and the attacker is complete nonsense. Tanya doesn't know him. A thuggish attack on an editorial employee,” tweeted correspondent Tonia Samsonova.
Earlier this month, state television channel Rossiya 24 ran a smear piece on Echo of Moscow that claimed Ms Felgenhauer and other employees had discussed the “strengthening of critical media with foreign money” during a meeting with the France-based organisation Reporters Without Borders and the Germany-based Robert Bosch Foundation.
Before that, state television Channel One ran a piece claiming that Echo of Moscow was financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the United States. Gazprom-Media, the arm of the state gas giant Gazprom that owns Echo of Moscow, denied that the radio station had any financial or other ties to the US agency.
Read Full Article: Prominent journalist at Russian news radio station stabbed in Moscow