Attack on Journo Said to Be Work of Russian Intelligence

Unnamed source says it's been confirmed by intelligence
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2022 1:55 AM CDT
Russian Journalist Critical of Putin Doused With Paint
In this photo published on Novaya Gazeta Europe's Telegram channel, Nobel Peace Prize-winning newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov takes a selfie after he said he was attacked on a Russian train by an assailant who poured red paint on him.   (Novaya Gazeta Europe's Telegram channel via AP)

(Newser) Update: US authorities believe Russia orchestrated the attack on Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov earlier this month. An unnamed US official tells the Washington Post intelligence has come to that conclusion, though the official did not detail exactly how. "The United States can confirm that Russian intelligence orchestrated the 7 April attack on Novaya Gazeta’s editor in chief Dmitry Muratov, in which he was splashed with red paint containing acetone," the official says in a statement. Our original story from April 8 follows:

A prominent independent journalist in Russia has paid an ugly price for his coverage critical of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Dmitry Muratov—who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year—got doused with red paint laced with the solvent acetone on a Russian train, reports NPR. "My eyes are burning terribly," said the editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper. He quoted his male attacker as shouting, "Muratov, this is for our boys," a presumed reference to Russian troops in Ukraine. Muratov tweeted an image of the aftermath. The editor of Novaya Gazeta Europe tweeted that Muratov received medical attention afterward, adding that the attack may have repercussions for his eyesight.

Last month, Muratov was forced to temporarily shut down his newspaper after receiving a second warning from Russian authorities, who forbid any reporting critical of the war. In fact, even the word "war" is outlawed and must be replaced by "special military operation," per the BBC. The 60-year-old Muratov, described by the Washington Post as the "dean of Russian journalism," was on a train from Moscow to Samara. A spokeswoman for his paper says he continued with his journey and even snapped a photo of his assailant, which was turned over to authorities. No arrests have been made. (Muratov was selling his Nobel medal to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.)

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