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article imageRussian reporter attacked and brutally beaten

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 6, 2010 in Crime
Moscow - A journalist for Russia’s Kommersant newspaper was attacked and brutally beaten outside his home in Moscow. Oleg Kashin is now in hospital in an induced coma.
Kashin,30, was attacked outside his Moscow apartment building early on Saturday. Two attackers were waiting when he arrived home.
Neighbours said he was conscious following the attack, and described his fingers as being smashed. They said nothing had been taken from him.
He had a fractured jaw, broken shins and injuries to his fingers and head, and doctors induced a coma.
"It's clear that the people who did this did not like what he says and writes," BBC News reported Kommersant editor Mikhail Mikhailin told Moscow radio.
Kashin has recently written stories about anti-Kremlin protests and extremist rallies, and his editor believes the attack was retribution for the articles.
One of the issues on which he had been reporting was the proposed building of a highway through Khimki forest outside Moscow. There have been demonstrations against the project, which is now on hold.
Journalists and bloggers held a rally near the Moscow police headquarters on Saturday, demanding a thorough investigation into the attack.
Ria Novosti reported that about 50 people carried posters bearing messages such as: "Journalist Oleg Kashin has been attacked, I urge to find the authors and performers [of the crime]."
The news agency stated that Russia has a poor safety record for journalists, with at least 35 murdered between 2000 and 2009.
The International Press Institute places Russia fifth in its ranking of countries most dangerous for journalists, after Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico.
According to BBC Russian affairs analyst Damien McGuiness, Kashin is a well-known figure and the newspaper he works for is one of Russia's most respected publications.
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