Russian investigative journalist Elena Milashina, who works for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was beaten Tuesday in Chechnya, was taken to a hospital in Moscow, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov told AFP.
Muratov said that Milashina, an expert on Chechen affairs who was attacked after she went to this Russian republic in the Caucasus to cover the verdict hearing in one of the cases, “was transferred to a hospital in Moscow.”
Pictures of the 45-year-old journalist were spread on a hospital bed with bandages on her arms and her head shaved, while her face, which appeared to be swollen with a green substance, was sprayed.
A photo from 2018 shows Milashina receiving an award in Washington
These images traveled all over the world and sparked outrage inside and outside Russia.
In the face of the movement of Russian human rights activists and politicians to condemn this attack, the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov confirmed that he “asked the competent authorities to do everything in their power to identify the assailants” of the journalist.
For his part, accused the Chechen Information Minister Akhmad Dudayev, “Western intelligence” of being behind the attack, criticizing at the same time Milashina because of “insulting the Chechen forces over the years.”
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin was informed of this “very serious attack that requires severe measures.” Peskov added Wednesday, “All instructions have been given” to investigators to clarify the circumstances of the incident.
In a new video clip broadcast by the media on Tuesday night, the journalist recounted the details of the assault that took place with her lawyer, Alexander Nemov, who accompanied her to Grozny to attend the sentencing hearing against Zarema Musayeva, the wife of former Russian federal judge Saidi Yagulbayev, who became an opponent of Kadyrov.
The journalist said: “It started following us since our plane took off” from Moscow. Upon their arrival, the taxi they were traveling in had traveled “barely 500 metres” before being stopped. Then, about 15 people pulled them out of the car and took them to a hole where they were “beaten,” she said while sitting on her hospital bed.
And she continued, “They wanted to get the password to enter my phone” by “threatening to cut off our fingers.”
She indicated that the lawyer who was accompanying her was stabbed, and as for her, “the attackers shaved her head and then sprayed her with Zielionka,” which is a surgical antiseptic.