Russian-Israeli accused of stabbing radio host

Russian-Israeli accused of stabbing radio host

Tatyana Felgenhauer put into coma after Boris Grits reportedly launches assault at Moscow independent radio station

Television studio of Echo of Moscow
Television studio of Echo of Moscow

A well-known Russian journalist who was stabbed in the throat by an attacker has been operated on and transferred to an intensive care unit, the Ekho Moskvy radio station has said.

Tatyana Felgenhauer, a top host and deputy editor-in-chief at Russia’s only independent news radio station, was put into a medically induced coma on Monday after the attack at the station’s studios in central Moscow.

It was the latest in a wave of assaults on journalists and activists in recent years, most of which have gone uninvestigated.

CCTV footage released by the station on Tuesday showed the attacker spraying gas into the face of a security guard in the reception area, ducking under the turnstile and running.

The Investigative Committee has identified the assailant as 48-year-old Boris Grits, who holds Russian and Israeli citizenship. After being apprehended, he told investigators he had been in “telepathic contact with Felgenhauer” for five years. He was expected to appear in court later on Tuesday.

State-owned media have long targeted Ekho Moskvy along with other rare independent media outlets for its critical reporting.

Tatyana Felgenhauer
Tatyana Felgenhauer

The state television channel Rossiya 24 put out a report two weeks ago which claimed that the station paid for “destabilising society” ahead of Russia’s presidential election in March.

Another popular Ekho Moskvy host, Yulia Latynina, fled Russia in September following a suspected arson attack on her car.

Ms Latynina wrote in Tuesday’s edition of Novaya Gazeta that, despite the latest assailant’s apparent mental troubles, the attack seems to be a logical follow-up to increasingly militant rhetoric by some Russian officials who have openly described media like Ekho Mosvky as enemies.

“Grits’ mental disorder curiously matches the party line,” Ms Latynina said. “The attack on Felgenhauer falls neatly into the line of numerous attacks on independent journalists and opposition politicians that were met with impunity.”

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