Kremlin critic journalist stabbed at offices of Moscow news radio station (Yahoo source)
A Russian opposition journalist was in a medically induced coma on Monday after a man claiming a "telepathic" connection broke into a liberal radio station and stabbed her in the neck. The stabbing of Tatiana Felgenhauer follows state television smear pieces against the radio station and a series of attacks that forced another Echo of Moscow host to flee the country. Ms Felgenhauer, the well-known deputy editor of the station and an outspoken Kremlin critic, was in the Echo of Moscow offices when an unknown attacker stabbed her in the neck. He had blinded a guard with pepper spray, before barging into the offices and running down the corridor to where she was, editor Alexei Venediktov told Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Ms Felgenhauer was hospitalised in stable condition, he said. Photographs published by a staff member of Echo of Moscow showed blood splattered across the floor and what appeared to be a switchblade knife. A middle-aged man was being detained by police in the photographs. “The attacker didn't yell anything, everything was calm and silent. He came up, hugged her and inflicted the injury,” deputy editor Sergei Buntman told the news outlet Meduza. An ambulance leaves the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station office in Moscow, Russia Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Russia's investigative committee has opened an attempted murder case, identifying the attacker only as a 48-year-old man with dual Israeli and Russian citizenship. The interior ministry said his motive was “personal hatred”. News agency Interfax quoted a law enforcement source as saying that the crime was not connected with Ms Felgenhauer's journalistic activities and that it was likely a case of “hooliganism”. Echo of Moscow staff rejected this explanation, however. “A personal conflict between Tanya and the attacker is complete nonsense. Tanya doesn't know him. A thuggish attack on an editorial employee,” tweeted correspondent Tonia Samsonova. Echo of Moscow published a video of law enforcement interrogating the attacker, whom it identified as Boris Grits. In it, he claimed Ms Felgenhauer had sexually harassed him through "telepathic contact". A Wordpress blog under the name Boris Grits contained posts in which the author, who also complains about being unable to find work as a programmer in Israel, said he wasn't sure why Ms Felgenhauer was "following" him but suspected it was because he "wrote for Russia". "In a few weeks I'll come to Moscow and, if this doesn't stop, the consequences could be very unpleasant," said a post dated to September. Earlier this month, state television channel Rossiya 24 ran a smear piece on Echo of Moscow that claimed Ms Felgenhauer and other employees had discussed the “strengthening of critical media with foreign money” during a meeting with the France-based organisation Reporters Without Borders and the Germany-based Robert Bosch Foundation. Before that, state television Channel One ran a piece claiming that Echo of Moscow was financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the United States. Gazprom-Media, the arm of the state gas giant Gazprom that owns Echo of Moscow, denied that the radio station had any financial or other ties to the US agency. Echo of Moscow's reporting has irked many officials, and employees have reported death threats. Yulia Latynina, a Kremlin critic who hosted a show on Echo of Moscow, fled Russia in September after a series of attacks - unknown assailants released a noxious gas into her family home, set her car on fire and threw feces on her in the street. She had previously complained of being followed and was given a state security detail. Novaya Gazeta political editor Kirill Martynov wrote on Monday that the Kremlin's inaction was partly responsible for the growing number of attacks on journalists and activists. "Propaganda has done too much to put independent journalism and opposition politicians outside the law, morally sanctioning the hunt for them," he said.