Supporters of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, disrupted a human rights group’s press conference in Moscow on December 11 by pelting activist leaders with eggs at close range.
The attack occurred when Igor Kalyapin, head of the Moscow-based Committee Against Torture, was criticizing Kadyrov’s order to impose collective punishment against relatives of alleged militants in Chechnya.
As Kalyapin accused the Chechen leader of violating Russia’s constitution, two unidentified burly men barged into the room shouting support for Kadyrov and accusing Kalyapin of “defending criminals.”
The men threw several eggs at Kalyapin from a distance of about a meter.
Eggs also hit Tatyana Lokshina, the director of the Russian branch of Human Rights Watch, and Aleksandr Cherkasov, the head of Russia's Memorial human rights center.
The head of Russia's Presidential Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, said the egg throwing incident was "absolutely abnormal," and that he intends to raise the issue with Russia’s leadership.
On December 6, after 14 policemen were killed in a clash against militants in Grozny, Kadyrov announced that relatives of suspected militants would be evicted and their homes would be razed.
On December 8, several homes in the Chechen village of Yandy were burnt to the ground by masked men.