Russian radio journalist stabbed in neck at her Moscow office

Tatyana Felgenhauer

Tatyana Felgenhauer, deputy editor of Ekho Moskvy radio station, in serious but not critical condition after attack.

A well-known Russian journalist is in hospital after being stabbed in the neck by an intruder at work.

Tatyana Felgenhauer, the deputy editor of Ekho Moskvy radio station, was attacked on Monday lunchtime at the station’s studios in central Moscow.

“A man with a knife broke into the radio station and stabbed Tatyana Felgenhauer in the neck. She has been hospitalised,” Alexei Venediktov, the station’s editor-in-chief, told Interfax.

Vitaly Ruvinsky, Ekho’s website editor, posted photographs on Facebook of police detaining a man – apparently the attacker – and of spots of blood on the floor. “Tanya’s in hospital, her condition is serious but not critical, the attacker has been apprehended,” he wrote.

Ekho employees reported that the attacker used pepper spray on a security guard in order to gain entrance to the radio studio, on Novy Arbat street in the Russian capital.
Ekho Moskvy is one of the few outlets for independent journalism in Russia, featuring reports and discussions sharply critical of the Kremlin despite being owned by the media arm of the energy giant Gazprom. Felgenhauer co-hosts a morning discussion show on the station.

The attacker’s motivation was not immediately clear. Russian news agencies showed video of the alleged assailant, a man in his 40s, being questioned. He claimed he carried out the attack because Felgenhauer had made telepathetic contact with him over the past five years.

Ekho journalists have been attacked before, and liberal journalists are frequently equated with traitors in Russia.

A news report on Russian state television this month singled out Ekho Moskvy and Felgenhauer personally as working to advance foreign interests in Russia before presidential elections next March.
The television report included photographs of Felgenhauer and audio of her complaining about conditions for journalists in Russia. It said the foreign NGOs who were providing Ekho with money posed as great a threat to Russia’s stability as Islamic State terrorists.

Yulia Latynina, a journalist who hosted a weekly show on Ekho Moskvy, fled Russia this year after an attempted arson attack on her car. Last year she was assaulted in central Moscow when an assailant tipped a canister of faeces over her.

Evgenia Albats, a magazine editor who also has a long-running show on Ekho, said she was surprised there had not been similar attacks before.

“The amount of aggression directed towards liberal journalists in this country from state media and elsewhere is overwhelming and non-stop,” she said. “Nobody is going to defend us; we’re the enemies of everyone.”

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