Russian Journalist’s Attack Considered Suspicious

On Thursday, April 5th, just after midnight, Elena Milashina, a prominent opposition journalist in Russia, was walking to her home in Moscow with a friend when she was assaulted by unidentified attackers. She was mercilessly beaten by the assailants, losing a tooth in the process. Her bag, holding her laptop, was also stolen from her. The attackers fled when three women walked by the scene of the crime. Although Milashina put up a fight to ward off the attack and to reclaim her laptop, the men got away and were never identified.

According to Human Rights Watch, the police were slow to respond to Milashina’s emergency call, taking almost 90 minutes to reach the scene of the crime. Milashina and her friend were exhausted from waiting outside for the police and returned to her flat half an hour after the beating. The police finally reached the scene of the crime at about 2:00 a.m. Witnesses to the crime called Milashina to have her return to the street and give a report to the police.

Milashina, who won the Alison Des Forges Award from Human Rights Watch in 2011, stated that the attackers kicked her in the head repeatedly, leaving her with multiple bruises, feeling weak and dazed. She claims that she felt too weak to go to the hospital in the middle of the night and woke the next morning to receive medical attention and to catalog the injuries she received.

Milashina herself believes that the attack was linked to the nature of her work. She writes for the controversial opposition publication Novaya Gazeta in Russia, which consistently calls government lapses to task.

Considering that her colleagues at Novaya Gazeta have been prime targets for planned violence in the past, Milashina’s high profile should be taken into consideration by investigative authorities. Other writers for Novaya Gazeta who have fallen victim to brutality are Anna Politkovskaya, who was brutally murdered in 2006, followed by Natalia Estemirova, another murder victim in 2009.

Milashina has been instrumental in uncovering the brutalities in the North Caucasus, taking over much of Anna Politkovskaya’s work in recent years. She also claims to have been been working on a drug trafficking scandal recently, which might stir up resistance.

According to The Moscow Times, the incident will be investigated as a robbery. Human Rights Watch remains adamant that this incident should be investigated with Elena Milashina’s high profile taken into consideration. They also argue that the slow response time of the police should be considered in the investigation.

Related Stories:

Why I Chose to Be a Journalist in Putin’s Russia

Russian Journalists Still Under Threat

Russian Opposition Journalist Beaten


Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons


Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K5 years ago

People in glass houses should never throw stones. In fact what all you Americans see in Putin is a reflection of what you are supporting what your own country is doing. Where is evidence of Russia being no2 for imprisonment. America is number one, Russia has a problem dealing with the communist criminals left over from the regime set up by America's New York Bankers under the leadership of Jacob Shiff who was imprisoned for breaching American law but quickly released as the bankers owned the legal system. Remember its all Karma and the American chickens are coming home to roost. So Americans take your heads out of the sand and realise just who is behind all the global atrocities.

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W5 years ago

Oh Please, anytime anymore I hear of a Russian journalist's untimely death, I just automatically assume anymore that's it's Putin & Assoc.

Gloria H.
Gloria H5 years ago

Her friends should have made her stay up at night after such a severe beating. Concussions can be deadly if you sleep right away. She is one brave woman!

Rin S.
Rin S5 years ago

Her work is similar to what I want to do in the future, but this makes me wonder if it's worth it.

Nadine Hudak
Nadine H5 years ago


Nadine Hudak
Nadine H5 years ago


Amie K.
Amie K5 years ago

Sounds to me like the people of Russia need to wise up and rise up against this in a big way. :-(

But I amazed at the bravery of the reporters who continue to tell the story. Truly heroic considering the violence and sometimes death of reporters!

KS Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Sarah Mumford
S M5 years ago

There will always be violence in Russia as long as men continue their power grab and sustaining such, - the deaths of the Czar and family directed and predicted this ... and so it will continue. The cities presenting as sophistication with the Bolshoi etc are a front while the baseness of chauvinism and ego goes on. Because the population is so repressed for different historical reasons and poverty perpetuation for similar but can also be geographical they wish only for 'normal' and as a country do not protest .... it is left to the few in the likes of Red Sq., brave journalists and exiles whether monetary or political - but it cannot add up to serious confrontation. The size of Russia assists dictators.