Elena Milashina, a well-known investigative journalist for Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was attacked on the evening of February 6 in Grozny, Chechnya. Milashina was in the lobby of a hotel when she, and lawyer Marina Dubrovina, were beaten by a group of unidentified men and women who also recorded the attack on camera. The pair were wounded, and have filed police reports with the local law enforcement in Chechnya.
The pair were in Grozny to participate in the case of Islam Nukhanov, who had tried to record the luxury residences of the ruling Kadyrov clan on camera. Milashina has long been reporting on repressive actions in Chechnya committed by Ramzan Kadyrov, a Kremlin-supported warlord. She has broken several major stories about anti-LGBTQ purges in the Chechen Republic. Dubrovina, the lawyer representing Nukhanov, has previously represented Ukrainian political prisoners Stanislav Klykh and Pavlo Gryb.
E.U. Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović has condemned the attack and has demanded that the Russian authorities pursue an investigation into the matter.
Following the attack, Milasheva and Dubrovina were first barred from entering the courthouse during Nukhanov’s open hearing, but were later admitted, according to information provided by Novaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta has further stated that they have evidence that the assault on the two women was done specifically to interfere with their work defending Nukhanov.
/Based on reporting by Novaya Gazeta