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Prominent Russian blogger, activist in hospital after brutal beating - RFE/RL

31.08.2020, 15:31
Photo credit: Getty Images, BBC
Photo credit: Getty Images, BBC

Yegor Zhukov, a prominent Russia blogger and activist known for his open criticism of the government, has been hospitalized after two unknown attackers beat him near his Moscow home, as Radio Free Europe/RAdio Liberty reported.

Zhukov's political organization, known as Zhukov's Team (Komanda Zhukova), said on Facebook that the activist was attacked late on August 30 after he took part in a talk show with Maksim Kats on YouTube during which he shared his views regarding the ongoing protests in neighboring Belarus, where thousands of demonstrators have been challenging the official results of the August 9 presidential election that gave incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a landslide victory.

(Photo credits: "Zhukov's team", Novaya Gazeta)

In a photo posted by his colleagues on Facebook, Zhukov appears with deep bruises and lacerations on his face.

Zhukov's colleague, Yevgeny Ovcharov, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that Zhukov was attacked at around 10 p.m. near his apartment block in Moscow.

Moscow police said on August 31 that they are looking into the attack, adding that a probe may be launched into the beating.

During the talk show, Zhukov called the protests in Belarus "a textbook example" that "should be thoroughly studied by those who want to achieve democratic change by peaceful means."

"A modern peaceful protest is a siege.... If there is a wall in front of you and you just keep hitting your head against that wall, then the wall will win.... The essence of peaceful protests is defeating Mike Tyson by chess," Zhukov said, in a reference to the former heavyweight boxing champion.

Zhukov, 22, was handed a three-year suspended sentence in December on extremism charges that he and his supporters have called politically motivated.

The charges against Zhukov related to four videos he posted on his YouTube channel in October and December 2017 that included clips of demonstrations and commentaries by the blogger on the protest movement and Russian politics.

Zhukov was arrested in August 2019 amid protests in Moscow to demand free and fair municipal elections. Dozens of people have been fined or given jail sentences over the rallies.

In his final court appearance on December 4 before his sentencing the next day, Zhukov made a statement harshly criticizing Russia's current political system for creating economic inequality for its citizens.

Zhukov's statement resonated across the country and made him prominent in Russia.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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