Yegor Zhukov: Leading Russian opposition blogger beaten up
A prominent opposition blogger in Russia, Yegor Zhukov, was beaten in Moscow and taken to hospital for treatment.
Police have launched a criminal investigation into the assault.
His supporters posted a photo on Facebook of his bloody, swollen face. The attack took place near his home on Sunday evening, they said.
In December, 22-year-old Mr. Zhukov was sentenced to a three-year prison term for “inciting extremism”.
He told investigators “two unidentified men attacked him on Rashchupkin Street and injured him,” a police statement quoted by the Interfax news agency said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said police are investigating the attack, adding: “We hope the perpetrators will be identified and punished according to the law.”
Mr. Zhukov is now also a political commentator on Russian radio. He was arrested last August during protests against the exclusion of independent and opposition candidates from the Moscow council elections.
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On Sunday, Mr. Zhukov stated on his YouTube channel that he was turned down for a film master’s degree at Moscow’s prestigious Higher School of Economics after being initially accepted. He linked that rejection to this political activity.
Separately, Kremlin spokesman Mr. Peskov said he was against linking the attack to the suspected poisoning of Russia’s most famous activist against President Vladimir Putin, investigative blogger Alexei Navalny.
German concern for Navalny
Mr. Navalny remains in intensive care in an induced coma in Germany, suffering from suspected nerve poisoning.
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Germany has asked Russia to do more to clarify the suspected poisoning. Mr. Navalny was taken from Russia nine days ago. On Friday, the hospital said it was in serious but stable condition.
His supporters believe he was poisoned by a cup of tea he drank at a Tomsk airport in Siberia before boarding a flight.
Commenting on relations with Russia, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said they were under “dark clouds”.
“The sanctions remain in place and will be until the groundwork for them changes. And at the moment there are also some dark clouds and of course we expect Russia to contribute more to the clarification of the Navalny case than it currently is. . ”