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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sanguine Russia

(17/30 Russian journalists whose murders remain unsolved)

Anatoly Adamchuk is latest Russian journalist to be beaten just short of death, raising the number of attacks against journalists to 32, according to the Glasnost Defense Foundation. The attack comes two days after Oleg Kashin, of Kommersant, was brained by two assailants in an attack which mirrors the 2008 assault of Mikhail Beketov, who like Kashin, openly criticized the plan to build a highway through a forest. Both had their hands smashed and skulls split open, only it is too early to see if Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko, sponsor of the highway, will take Kashin to court like Beketov, for a criminal defamation suit. Although Russia didn't make the deadliest countries list for 2010 this year, it has been listed as the 4th most dangerous place to be a journalist by the Committee to Protect Journalists, just ahead of Mexico and behind China, Iran and Iraq. Russia is also 8th on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which ranks countries based on how many journalists' deaths go without investigation or prosecution.

Fred Weir of the Christian Science Monitor has an interesting piece linking the beating of Kashin to a possible rift between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, while the blog La Russophobe makes the case that the bashing exemplifies what a bloodthirsty nation Russia is.

Medvedev, ever the man of the 21st century "tweeted" that the "offenders should be found and punished," which is certainly reassuring.