Two violent attacks against anti-development protesters in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod in one day

posted 2 Jun 2013, 13:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Jun 2013, 13:33 ]
31 May 2013

Source: (info)
In Moscow anti-development protester Vladimir Krasov was stabbed by unknown assailants, reports Interfax, quoting the activist's neighbour. The crime occurred on Thursday evening at the entrance to the apartment building where Krasov lives, in the Alekseyevsky District. The attackers severely beat the 42-year-old anti-development campaigner, breaking his skull and stabbing him in the liver. Krasov also had documents stolen which he had collected as part of an investigation into abuses in his district.

The activist was taken to the Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine, where he underwent surgery.

Krasov's neighbour, who has also taken part in anti-development campaigns, said that Krasov had been followed for several days by two young men wearing hoodies. She said that they were the ones responsible for the attack. Furthermore, it transpired that the CCTV cameras located near the entrance to the apartment building had been smeared with black paint.

Krasov is known to be involved in the fight against high-rise development in his neighbourhood. In particular, he protested against the illegal demolition of a kindergarten in Pavel Korchagin Street and the building of a hotel in Galushkin Street. According to Vechernyaya Moskva (Evening Moscow) newspaper, the anti-development campaigner was involved in city improvement projects which are overseen by blogger Ilya Varlamov and municipal deputy Maksim Kats, former member of the Opposition Coordinating Council.

The attack on Krasov was the second attack on anti-development protesters in the past 24 hours. On Thursday morning in the centre of Nizhny Novgorod civil activist Aleksei Podnebesny was seriously beaten. He was taken to hospital suffering with a fractured jaw and concussion. His condition is described as serious. Podnebesny had recently been actively campaigning against infill construction.

"Podnebesny was being watched, they were waiting for him. The attack was planned in advance," a journalist believes. The victim reported the attack to City Police Station No. 5, after which he was hospitalised in the neurosurgery department of City Hospital 39. Podnebesny had a broken jaw and concussion. His condition is serious.

Many activists blame the attack on the Centre for Combating Extremism. Others, however, believe that the attack was ordered by commercial organisations. Podnebesny had recently been actively involved in the fight against infill construction on Kovalikhinskaya Street in the centre of Nizhny Novgorod. On Wednesday in the city's Nizhegorodsky district court there was a hearing to consider the lawsuit by the district prosecutor against the developer, Stroiconsulting, in connection with the illegal closure of a section of Semasko Street, which crosses Kovalikhinskaya Street. The regulatory agency is demanding that the section of road that was seized be returned to public use. It was Podnebesny who arranged for the prosecutor's inspection to be conducted.

On 10 April the activist and his wife Evgenia were arrested by the police for handing out leaflets calling for a coordinated anti-development rally. While he was in custody Podnebesny was beaten up. The following day the judge of the Nizhegorodsky district court, Andrei Shutov, sentenced him to seven days' administrative arrest under Article 19.3 of the Administrative Offences Code (failure to fulfil the lawful orders of a police officer). The police at the time said that Podnebesny had got in the way of some "important people."