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Russian Official Sues Journalist For Libel

Leader of Russia's Youth Agency Vasily Yakemenko

Leader of Russia's Youth Agency Vasily Yakemenko

MOSCOW -- The head of Russia's Youth Agency is suing journalist Oleg Kashin for alleging that the politician was involved in an attack against him, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Youth Agency's lawyer told journalists in Moscow today that agency head Vasily Yakemenko filed the lawsuit with Moscow's Khamovniki District Court and is demanding an apology and 100,000 rubles (about $3,500) as moral compensation for the pain caused by comments Kashin made in a blog.

Kashin wrote on March 23 that Yakemenko may have been involved in a brutal attack against him on November 6 in Moscow.

Kashin, 30, a correspondent for the popular daily newspaper "Kommersant," was beaten savagely by two assailants near his apartment in an attack, which left him with broken legs, several head wounds, and fractured hands and fingers.

The injuries left Kashin in an induced coma for 10 days. He has been operated on several times and is still recovering from his injuries.

Kashin said the attack against him must have been related to his professional activities. He said three potentially dangerous issues he wrote about before he was attacked are the Khimki Forest issue, the political situation in Pskov Oblast, and critical articles about the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi (Ours).

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