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Russian Journalist Says He Was Beaten Because Of His Work

Kashin says he could have been beaten for his reporting on the Khimki forest or Pskov Oblast issues.
TEL-A-SHOMER, Israel -- A Russian journalist who was severely beaten by two men in Moscow in November says the attack must have been connected with his professional activities, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Oleg Kashin, 30, a correspondent for the popular Russian daily "Kommersant," was transferred to Israel from Moscow earlier this month for further treatment of his injures. The attack left him with a severe concussion as well as fractures to the jaw, leg and hand. A portion of his left pinky is missing.

He told RFE/RL on January 18 that he does not see any other reason for the attack than his activities as a journalist.

"I did not have any affair with someone's wife and never borrowed any money from any gangster to be attacked like that," Kashin said.

He said there were three potentially dangerous themes he was writing about in his articles and blogs in the last year: the Khimki forest issue, the political situation in Russia's Pskov Oblast, and the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi (Ours).

The Khimki forest became one of the hottest topics in Russia after activists protested plans for the construction of a new highway connecting Moscow with St. Petersburg that would go through part of the forest.

Kashin said Pskov Oblast authorities threatened to punish him after he criticized them in one of his blogs. And the Nashi movement was also frequently criticized by Kashin in his articles.

Kashin said he plans to continue to work as a journalist.

Read more in Russian here.