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Russian Newspaper Disappears From Local Newsstands

Journalist Mikhail Beketov, whose work appeared in the missing paper, was attacked and badly injured
The independent newspaper "Novaya gazeta" failed to appear on newsstands on February 18 in the Russian town of Khimki, near Moscow, after all copies were bought up by unknown individuals, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Editor in chief Dmitry Muratov told RFE/RL that an open letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed by Khimki residents was printed in the newspaper on that day.

The letter urges Medvedev to get involved in the local administration's plan to build a highway through the Khimki Forest.

Muratov said the letter was written by journalist Mikhail Beketov, an opponent of the plan to build the highway, who was severely beaten several days after he wrote the appeal.

Beketov was attacked on November 14, severely damaging his leg, which had to be amputated. He spent several weeks in a coma.