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Gorbachev Calls On Authorities To Investigate Attack In Omsk

Moscow, April 25 (RFE/RL) - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev today called on Russian authorities to investigate yesterday's incident in the Siberian city of Omsk, where an unemployed engineer attacked him and hit him in the face.

Gorbachev escaped unhurt, but interrupted his pre-election campaign trip and returned to Moscow. Our correspondent quotes a statement that Gorbachev sent to RFE/RL in Moscow, saying that the attack was "an assassination attempt". He also said that the attack was a serious violation of Russia's law on the presidential elections. The former Soviet President is a candidate in the June 16 Russian presidential poll. The Itar-Tass news agency quoted the offender, 29-year-old unemployed Mikhail Malyukov, as saying that he hit Gorbachev in the face because of what the politician "has done to the country." The Soviet leader presided over the breakdown of the USSR in 1991.