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Beaten Russian Activist's Wife Says Officials Behind Attack

Konstantin Fetisov, "Pravoe delo" party leader in Khimki, who was severely beaten on Nov. 4 and remains in a coma.
The wife of a Russian environmental activist severely beaten by unknown assailants last week says local authorities are behind the attack, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Konstantin Fetisov's wife, Marina, told RFE/RL that the local prosecutor in the town of Khimki, near Moscow, refused to classify the attack against her husband as attempted murder.

"I am sure they wanted to kill him because he openly was calling for Khimki authorities to resign," she said.

Fetisov was severely beaten on November 4 by unknown assailants near his apartment while returning home from the police station. He has undergone surgery and has been in a coma since the attack.

Stalina Gurevich, the lawyer of another Khimki assault victim, former "Khimkinskaya pravda" chief editor Mikhail Beketov, told journalists in Moscow on November 11, that if the attackers in Fetisov's case are found her client's case might be solved as well. Otherwise, Gurevich said, it is unlikely those who organized and carried out the 2008 attack on Beketov will ever be found.

On November 11, prosecutors reopened an investigation into the attack, which left Beketov brain-damaged and confined to a wheelchair.

Gurevich said that it is "practically impossible to find the attackers [who injured Beketov], as the incident took place too long ago."

Beketov had written several articles criticizing Khimki authorities for allowing a large swath of the Khimki forest to be cut down in order to build a new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway.

On November 10, Beketov was found guilty of slander for allegations he made against the mayor of Khimki in 2007.