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Russia: radio journalist stabbed in neck at her Moscow office

Tatyana Felgenhauer, deputy editor of Ekho Moskvy radio station, in serious but not critical condition after attack

23 October 2017, 3:38pm
Tatyana Felgenhauer (Photo: Twitter)
Tatyana Felgenhauer (Photo: Twitter)
A well-known Russian journalist is in hospital being treated for her injuries, following being stabbed in the neck by an intruder.

Tatyana Felgenhauer, the deputy editor of Ekho Moskvy radio station, was attacked on Monday lunchtime at the radio station’s studios in central Moscow.

Vitaly Ruvinsky, Ekho’s website editor, posted photographs on Facebook of police detaining a man – apparently the attacker – and of spots of blood on the floor.

“Tanya’s in hospital, her condition is serious but not critical, the attacker has been apprehended,” he wrote.

Ekho employees reported that the attacker used pepper spray on a security guard in order to gain entrance to the radio studio, on Novy Arbat street in the Russian capital.

Ekho Moskvy is one of the few outlets for independent journalism in Russia, often featuring reports and discussions deemed to be sharply critical of the Kremlin, despite being owned by the media arm of energy giant Gazprom. Felgenhauer co-hosts a morning discussion show on the station.

The attacker’s motive was not initially clear. Russian news outlets showed video of the alleged attacker, a man in his mid-40s, being questioned. He claimed to have carried out the attack as Felgenhauer had made “telepathic contact” with him, over the past five years.

Ekho journalists have been attacked before, and liberal journalists are frequently equated with traitors in Russia.

Earlier this month, a news report on Russian state television singled out Ekho Moskvy and Felgenhauer personally as working to advance foreign interests in Russia ahead of presidential elections next March.

The television report included photographs of Felgenhauer and audio of her complaining about conditions for journalists in Russia. It said the foreign NGOs who were providing Ekho with money posed as great a threat to Russia’s stability as Islamic State terrorists.

Yulia Latynina, a journalist who hosted a weekly show on Ekho Moskvy, fled Russia earlier this year after an attempted arson attack on her car. Last year she was assaulted in central Moscow when an assailant tipped a canister of faeces over her.

The unidentified man who reportedly stabbed the radio journalist in the neck (Photo: AP)
The unidentified man who reportedly stabbed the radio journalist in the neck (Photo: AP)
Evgenia Albats, a magazine editor who also has a long-running show on Ekho, said she was surprised there had not been similar attacks before.

“The amount of aggression directed towards liberal journalists in this country from state media and elsewhere is overwhelming and non-stop,” she said. “Nobody is going to defend us; we’re the enemies of everyone.”