Yulia Latynina, a prominent Russian journalist and a searing critic of Russia's ruling political elite, says she has left Russia after unknown assailants set fire to her car.
In a Skype call to the popular radio station Ekho Moskvy on September 9, Latynina said she was abroad along with her parents and that it was “unlikely” that she “would return to Russia anytime soon.”
On September 3, Latynina, who hosts a weekly political commentary show at Ekho Moskvy, said that unknown “arsonists” set fire on her car, which was parked near her “wooden house.”
“The gas tank could have exploded, and the only reason it didn’t was because it wasn’t full,” Latynina said, adding that if her father “hadn’t put out the fire, it would have burned down the house because the flames were already four meters high.”
In a statement on September 4, Russia’s Journalists’ Union supported Latynina’s claim and said the incident wasn’t a mere act of “hooliganism and intimidation.”
In August 2016, Latynina was doused with fecal matter by an unidentified assailant. Police launched a probe, but never identified the culprit.
Following that attack, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, to which Latynina is a regular contributor, said in a statement that Latynina has "regularly" received threats and that "several years ago" a planned attack on her was thwarted.
Latynina temporarily left Russia in March 2015 after her name was linked to a rumored "kill list" that reportedly included the names of numerous individuals who openly criticize the country’s leadership.
She said at the time that she decided to leave Russia after noticing that she was being followed on the street.
With reporting by medusa.io, tvrain.ru, and Interfax