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Russian Journalist Out Of Coma; Kremlin Blames Attack On 'Madman'


Tatyana Felgengauer's face was shown in a state TV report accusing Ekho Moskvy of undermining the Russian state.

MOSCOW -- Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio says a prominent journalist who was stabbed in the throat by an attacker has been operated on and transferred to an intensive-care unit of a Moscow hospital.

Tatyana Felgengauer, a program host and deputy editor in chief at the independent Russian news station, was put into a medically induced coma on October 23 after she was attacked in the station's central Moscow studios.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on October 24 dismissed suggestions that there might have been connections between the attacker and Kremlin officials.

Peskov blamed the knife attack on a "madman."

"The actions of a madman are the actions of a madmen," Peskov said. "Trying to link them to anything is absolutely illogical and wrong."

Ekho Moskvy released security-camera footage on October 24 that shows the attacker gaining entrance to the station by spraying gas into the face of a security guard, ducking under a turnstile, and running inside.

Russia's Investigative Committee has identified the alleged attacker as 48-year-old Boris Grits, a citizen of Russia and Israel.

After being apprehended on October 23, Grits told investigators police he had been in "telepathic contact with Felgengauer" for five years.

Grits appeared in court for an initial hearing on October 24 where he was ordered to be remanded in pretrial custody at least until December 23. He was also scheduled to undergo a psychiatric examination.

State-owned media have long targeted Ekho Moskvy and other rare independent media outlets in Russia for critical reports about the government.

Earlier in October, state-run Rossia-24 TV issued a report claiming that Ekho Moskvy had paid for "destabilizing society" ahead of Russia's March 2018 presidential election.

Another popular Ekho Moskvy host, Yulia Latynina, fled Russia in September after a suspected arson attack on her car.

Latynina wrote in the October 24 edition of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper that the attack against Felgengauer was a logical follow-up to increasingly militant rhetoric from Russian officials who openly describe independent media as enemies.

"Grits' mental disorder curiously matches the party line," Latynina wrote. "The attack on Felgengauer falls neatly into the line of numerous attacks on independent journalists and opposition politicians that were met with impunity."

With reporting by AP, AFP, TASS, Novaya Gazeta, and Ekho Moskvy
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