Russian journalist and environmentalist gravely ill after assault
Mikhail Beketov, Chief Editor of the Khimki [Moscow region] newspaper “Khimkinskaya Pravda” has undergone an operation and is now in intensive care after being attacked in the courtyard of his apartment block in the morning of 13 November. He has serious injuries to the skull and numerous fractures and injuries which the doctors have called incompatible with life.
At the time of writing this, the doctors have called his condition grave but stable.
Mikhail Beketov is well-known for his critical articles aimed at the Khimki Town Administration. It was he who drew public attention to the transfer of the monument to fighter heroes from the War on Leningradskjoye Shosse [a major arterial road). He also writes in his newspaper about the fight to stop the felling of the Khimki Forest in order to build an arterial road from Moscow to St Petersburg. The struggle has been waging for 2 years now.
In May last way somebody blew up his car, while in February this year a criminal investigation was initiated against him under the Article on “Defamation”. Beketov explained that after a series of articles over the transfer of the memorial to the fighter heroes he received threats and said that the previous night his car had been set alight. He believed this to be a warning from the local administration and directly linked with his professional activities.