United States condemns attack on Russian reporter

United States condemns attack on Russian reporter
# 08 November 2010 23:10 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The United States has called a recent attack on a Russian journalist "a heinous crime" and urged Russian authorities to find and punish the assailants, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

Oleg Kashin from the respected Kommersant daily was severely beaten by unidentified assailants near his house in Moscow early on Saturday. He suffered severe head and leg injuries and is currently in an induced coma. Reports also say his fingers were broken and possibly cut off.

"The United States condemns the attack [on Kashin]...and calls on Russian authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice," U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in Washington on Monday.

The motives for the attack are still unclear because Kashin has written on a wide range of issues.

However, one of the most recent and contentious subjects of his journalistic investigations was the efforts by environmentalists and opposition activists to protect the Khimki oak forest just outside Moscow from being cleared for a new highway.

In 2008, Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of the Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper, was severely beaten by unidentified attackers. He is now confined to a wheelchair.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been one of the most dangerous countries for reporters with scores of journalists being attacked and beaten every year.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who has promised to crack down on corruption and strengthen the rule of law in the country, ordered on Monday that Kashin’s attackers be found and punished.