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Beatings and Arson Attacks: Is Online Dissidence Becoming Dangerous in Russia?

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

On the evening of March 31, Aleksandr Markov heard the doorbell and rushed to open the door of his St. Petersburg apartment. But instead of the guest he had been expecting, Markov was surprised to see several strangers on his doorstep.
 
Then came the blow.
 
"I was hit in the eye," he tells RFE/RL. "I found myself in the staircase. Someone pushed me from behind and I fell over. They started kicking me."
 
The assailants fled the scene only after Markov screamed for someone to call the police.
 
The incident is the latest in what appears to be a string of assaults and arson attacks targeting Russians who have openly criticized their government on social-networking sites.
 
Markov co-administers an opposition group called Criminal Authorities on VKontakte, Russia's largest social network. The group has about 14,000 members and openly denounces Kremlin policies, including those pertaining to Ukraine.
 

To read the full story

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Beatings and Arson Attacks: Is Online Dissidence Becoming Dangerous in Russia?

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