Nobel Prize-winning Russian newspaper editor attacked with paint in Moscow

Dmitry Muratov, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning editor of Russia’s largest independent newspaper, was sprayed with red paint in an attack on Thursday in a Moscow train carriage, according to the Novaya Gazeta website.

Muratov said his eyes burned after an unidentified person threw oil paint mixed with acetone at him in a train car at the Kazan train station.

“Muratov, cheers to our boys,” the attacker shouted, according to Muratov.

Images released by the newspaper show Muratov’s head, shirt and arms covered in red paint. A second photo shows red splatters resembling bloodstains over a table, window and cushions in the train compartment.

Novaya Gazeta said the Telegram channel of a group called “Union Z Fallschirmjäger” claimed responsibility for the attack in a now-deleted post. According to an English translation of the post, the group vowed to go after those who supported what they falsely described as lying about atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine.

State-backed media in Russia have tried to discredit some of Bucha’s images and videos showing dead civilians. Russia claims Ukrainians staged the slaughter in a Kyiv suburb.

Meanwhile, Russia is stepping up its attack on eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials on Friday said Russia was responsible for a missile attack on a train station used to evacuate civilians in Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk region. According to the authorities, over 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

Last week, Novaya Gazeta announced that it was forced to halt publication until the end of the Ukraine war after receiving a second warning from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator.

Journalists from Novaya Gazeta on Thursday formed a new company called Novaya Gazeta Europe, which is not officially affiliated with the Russian publication, according to Reuters.

Muratov, along with journalist Maria Ressa, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.”

Muratov said in March he intended to auction off his Nobel medal to help Ukrainian refugees. He told the BBC in December that he was dedicating his award to journalists who have been murdered on the job.

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