Posted on Jan 01, 2018
A prominent environmental activist has been beaten by masked men in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar after returning from an inspection.
Andrei Rudomakha coordinates the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), a regional pressure group campaigning to preserve wild nature in the region. EWNC has roiled local and federal officials by exposing land grabs and construction projects in Russia’s south, including for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"Andrei is severely beaten and in the hospital with a concussion and broken nose,” the group wrote on its Twitter page on Friday.
Rudomakha and his colleagues were assaulted after returning from an inspection on the Black Sea coast late Thursday, the Mediazona news website cited attorney Alexei Avanesyan as saying. The group recently published an investigation into an illegal hunting trip involving top local officials.
The NGO was designated as a “foreign agent” in September 2016. Organisations in the registry are subject to additional inspections and are required to submit regular reports about their funding, objectives and expenses.
EWNC’s deputy coordinator Dmitry Shevchenko told the Interfax news agency that three masked assailants fled after stealing the victim’s equipment and documents.
“It will be impossible to identify them,” he said.
The Krasnodar region is notorious for violence against journalists, political activists and anyone who casts a critical eye on the work of local authorities. Earlier this year, unknown attackers stormed the campaign headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, smashing everything inside.
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