While the Russian press might be getting bolder in its coverage of the government and politics, an arson attack on a local newspaper’s offices proves how dangerous the climate continues to be.The attack destroyed the offices of the weekly Vecherny Krasnokamsk in the Perm region of Russia last weekend, according to Reporters Without Borders. The paper is published by the local branch of the Yabloko party, the liberal opposition party.
According to security cameras, at 4 a.m. a masked man broke into the newsroom and threw in a Molotov cocktail, Echo Moskvi (‘Echo of Moscow‘) reports. There were no injuries but all equipment, archives, and financial records were incinerated.
The editor, Olga Kolokolova, said the damage was worth about 300,000 roubles ($9,800). Kolokolova, who is also the head of the local branch of Yabloko, linked the arson to a series of investigative reports recently published by the newspaper. The articles implicate the Krasnokamsk mayor’s office on charges of embezzling funds meant to repair homes.
The mayor, Yuri Chechetkin, said he had no objection to the paper’s activities.
A criminal case was registered with the police, and if the arsonist is found, he could be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.
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