Unknown assailants on April 12, 2018 attacked Dmitry Polyanin, editor-in-chief of the regional pro-government newspaper Oblastnaya Gazeta, which had recently published articles about irregularities in the local housing market and related violence, according to the paper and media reports.
Two assailants attacked Polyanin around 7 p.m. at the entrance of his apartment building in Yekatrinburg and beat him with metal rods, according to the journalist’s account published in Oblastnaya Gazeta and the state news agency RIA Novosti, which quoted Valery Gorelykh, a representative of the Interior Ministry’s Sverdlovsk regional branch.
Following the attack, Polyanin was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken rib; he was discharged on April 18, 2018, his employer reported.
An unnamed spokesperson for the regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee, the agency tasked with probing serious crimes, told RIA Novosti that a criminal investigation was opened in the incident.
Gorelykh told RIA Novosti that the police were considering different motives for the attack, including Polyanin’s work as a journalist.
On January 30, 2018, Oblastnaya Gazeta published an investigative report on vandalism attacks that occurred over a period of two years in Yekatrinburg, including on office buildings, private homes, and vehicles as well as attacks on property owners that were carried out by unidentified individuals with metal rods. The report did not state who organized the attacks, but criticized law enforcement for not investigating the incidents.
Polyanin told Oblastnaya Gazeta on April 13 that the attack on him was related to his job. “The way this crime was executed is very similar to the ones we described in the report titled ‘It looks like terrorism: What do we know about Yekaterinburg’s housing wars?'” he said referencing the January report.