A Russian stand-up comic of Azerbaijani origin, Idrak Mirzalizade, says he was attacked in Moscow after several pro-government media outlets accused him of insulting ethnic Russians.
Mirzalizade wrote on Instagram on June 27 that he was attacked two days earlier after receiving several threats because of the accusations.
"I have received thousands of threats in the last month and, two days ago, I was attacked in Moscow’s center.... The reason for the situation was the publication of a one-minute fragment taken from a presentation of a comedy performance.... The information was presented by some media outlets, showing me as a Russophobe, someone who offends Russian people," Mirzalizade wrote.
He also placed on YouTube a video showing the moment of the attack.
According to Mirzalizade, the attackers demanded an apology for "insulting the Russian people," which he refused to do.
Mirzalizade says that the performance that caused the controversy was about problems faced by non-Russians when they want to rent an apartment in the Russian capital.
In his performance, the comedian joked about what would happen if the perception of Russians by others was based on separate incidents, drawing a parallel to situations that shape prejudices about non-Russians living among Russians.