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Russian TV Network Shows Video Of Navalny Attack With Assailant's Face Blurred

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says his eyesight might be impaired after his face was splashed with a green "zelyonka" antiseptic. (file photo)
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says his eyesight might be impaired after his face was splashed with a green "zelyonka" antiseptic. (file photo)

A Russian television network has published a video of the attack on opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in which the face of the assailant is blurred, drawing fire from the activist who says his vision may be permanently damaged after the incident.

The video showing an unidentified man splashing a green antiseptic, known as "zelyonka," on Navalny’s face first appeared on the website of Russia’s REN-TV network on April 28, one day after the attack.

But it only gained wider attention after the anticorruption crusader tweeted about it two days later.

Navalny suggested that the video was leaked to the Kremlin-friendly private broadcaster by authorities and accused Russia's Federal Security Service of involvement.

"They have no shame," Navalny wrote in the April 30 tweet.

In a separate post about the video on his website, Navalny wrote bitingly about the likelihood that investigators would use the video to track down the assailant.

"How nice. What do you think? Will they come to Ren-TV tomorrow to seize the video and establish how it was filmed and why the Ren-TV guys blurred out the attacker's face? Of course not," he wrote.

It was not immediately clear if the footage had also been broadcast by Ren-TV.

Earlier, on April 30, Navalny said his eye may be permanently damaged due to a chemical burn he suffered to his cornea and pupil in the April 27 attack.

He said that his doctor believes the green liquid contained another substance that may have caused the the burn.

Navalny added that he continues to apply eye drops every 15 minutes, and is receiving injections as well.

"We're fighting to ensure that the vision in the eye remains clear," Navalny said. "If it doesn’t work out (and that's a possibility, alas), then Russia will have a president with a stylish white eye."

Kremlin critics are frequently targeted in guerrilla zelyonka attacks. Typically, however, these assaults do not cause permanent injuries.

Navalny on April 30 accused security services of providing information about his movements to those who have carried out attacks against him.

"I have no doubt -- and my confidence is based on facts -- that the presidential administration organized this attack," Navalny wrote.

The Kremlin has previously denied accusations by Navalny and his supporters that it is involved in efforts aimed at discrediting or intimidating him.

Navalny also made light of the incident on April 30 post, publishing a photoshopped image of himself as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's one-eyed cyborg character in the Terminator franchise of science fiction films.

"I always said that Terminator 2 is my favorite film, so it's all my fault," he wrote.

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    Carl Schreck

    Carl Schreck is an award-winning investigative journalist who serves as RFE/RL's enterprise editor. He has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union for more than 20 years, including a decade in Moscow. He has led investigations into corruption, cronyism, and disinformation campaigns in Russia and Central Asia, as well as on poisoning attacks against Kremlin opponents and assassinations of Iranian exiles in the West. Schreck joined RFE/RL in 2014.