Russian Reporter in Coma After Brutal Beating

Pro-Kremlin group had labeled him a 'traitor'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2010 2:46 PM CDT
Oleg Kashin in a photo provided by the Russian Kommersant.   (AP Photo/Kommersant, Svetlana Privalova)
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(Newser) – A brutal attack on a Russian reporter in Moscow has left him in a coma, the BBC reports. Two men ambushed Oleg Kashin, who writes for Kommersant, outside his apartment and beat him with metal rods. Fellow journalists and even President Dmitry Medvedev condemned the assault on the 30-year-old victim, who is described by the LA Times as a "crusading" reporter. The follow-up will be a test of the Kremlin's pledge to crack down on the intimidation of journalists.

"What's so utterly disgusting about the case is that the attackers did their utmost if not to kill Kashin but to maim him gravely enough to prevent him from ever being physically able to write again," said the head of the Russian Journalists Union, calling it the fifth attack on a journalist in 30 days. Among Kashin's injuries are a broken jaw, two broken legs, and several broken fingers, with part of one torn off. He has covered anti-Kremlin rallies, and one pro-government youth group had singled him out as a "reporter-traitor" in need of punishment, notes the Times.

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