On February 11, three unidentified assailants attacked and beat Victor Nedosvetey, editor of the regional newspaper Nepravilnaya Gazeta, in the city of Naryan-Mar, capital of Russia’s northwestern Nenets Autonomous District, his news outlet reported.
Nedosvetey is also the chairman of the Nenets Regional Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a regional association of businessmen, and a former member of the governing United Russia party. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating the case to determine the motives of the assault.
According to the regional news agency IA Rusnord, three men accosted and assaulted Nedosvetey outside his home around 7:00 pm on February 11. One of the assailants knocked the editor to the ground with a heavy blow to the head; then all three kicked and beat him. After the journalist called for help, his neighbors approached the scene and the attackers fled, Nedosvetey told IA Rusnord. The assailants did not take any of the editor’s belongings.
Nedosvetey was taken to a local hospital and diagnosed with a broken nose and bruises on his body, news reports said. Regional police took his statement, but it is unclear whether they opened an investigation into the attack.
According to IA Rusnord, Nedosvetey’s neighbors said they suspect his critical journalism prompted the attack. News reports said that in his articles and statements carried by Nepravilnaya Gazeta, Nedosvetey was critical of city officials for abuse of power, and criticized the regional governor, Igor Fedorov. Last spring, Gov. Fedorov worked to expel Nedosvetey from the regional branch of the United Russia party for “activities incompatible with membership.” Nepravilnaya Gazeta had published articles accusing Fedorov of embezzlement, lying, and corruption.