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Russian Deputy Attributes Attack To Political Activities

Nikita Slepnyov

Nikita Slepnyov

MOSCOW -- A local Russian lawmaker beaten in an attack over the weekend says the assault is linked to his political activities, which include campaigning for cuts in utilities fees, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Nikita Slepnyov, who heads the youth wing of the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party and is a member of the municipal council in Noginsk, near Moscow, said several men attacked him on January 22 as he was on his way to a meeting with local residents.

Slepnyov told RFE/RL the attackers knocked him down, kicked him, and sprayed him with something like pepper spray. He said he has numerous bruises on his face and body, but his overall condition is satisfactory.

Slepnyov said the attack must be connected with his political activities. He has been actively campaigning for cuts in utilities fees.

No ‘Random Attack’

"I do not think that it was just a random attack by some hooligans. They knew exactly where to find me and everything was so perfectly organized and coordinated," Slepnyov said. He said the attack lasted a couple of minutes, but the attackers were professionals.

A week ago another campaigner for utility fee cuts was attacked in Moscow. Unknown persons opened fire on the car of Moscow-based civic activist Konstantin Voevodkin on January 17. Voevodkin was injured by flying glass when the windshield shattered. His wife was wounded and had a bullet extracted from her arm.

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