A radio host who had frequently been critical of the Russian government was stabbed in the neck at her office on Monday, the latest in a string of attacks against Putin-wary Russian media.
Boris Grits, 48, was arrested after stabbing Tatyana Felgenhauer, the deputy editor and a host at Russia’s top independent radio station, Ekho Moskvy, The Huffington Post reported.
Grits broke into the Moscow station offices to stab Felgenhauer because, he claimed, he had a personal grudge against the reporter stemming from “telepathic contact.” Grits pepper sprayed a guard before taking an elevator to the Moskvy studios on the 14th floor of the building, The Guardian reported.
But colleagues of Felgenhauer say that, in a country where liberal journalists are frequently equated with traitors, it’s too convenient to say that this was the work of a lone madman.
“He knew things he shouldn’t have known,” said Alexei Venediktov, the Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief. “How did he know Tanya would still be here? By the time of the attack, she would normally have left. There are many questions.”
Felgenhauer was placed in a medically induced coma after the attack, and remains in serious but stable condition.
Ekho Moskvy, which has been repeatedly criticized by state-owned media, has been the subject of similar attacks before. Yulia Latynina, one host at the station, left Russia this year after someone attempted to blow up her car.
“The amount of aggression directed towards liberal journalists in this country from state media and elsewhere is overwhelming and non-stop,” said Evgenia Albats, a magazine editor who hosts a weekly show on Ekho Moskvy, to The Guardian. “Nobody is going to defend us; we’re the enemies of everyone.”