In Chechnya, armed individuals viciously attacked Novaya Gazeta journalist Yelena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov. The incident occurred as they were en route to attend the verdict for Zarema Musayeva, the mother of Chechen opposition activists. During the attack, Milashina had her fingers broken, her head shaved, and was doused with green paste. Nemov was beaten and injured with a sharp object. The Crew Against Torture reported the incident on July 4.
In Chechnya, armed individuals attacked Novaya Gazeta journalist Yelena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov. The incident occurred as they were en route to attend the verdict for Zarema Musayeva, the mother of Chechen opposition activists. The assailants blocked their car, wielding pistols and threatening to kill them if they did not leave Chechnya and cease their work in the region. Milashina had her fingers broken, her head shaved, and was doused with green paste. She fainted multiple times, according to The Crew Against Torture. Nemov was beaten and injured with a sharp object.
"Nemov sits in a wheelchair with difficulty moving around. Elena Milashina can't even sit," Sergei Babinets, head of The Crew Against Torture, described the condition of the victims.
Both victims were taken to a Chechen hospital, where human rights ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova spoke to Milashina via telephone. Later in the day, Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the victims to be transported to the town of Beslan in North Ossetia. Moskalkova appealed to the Investigative Committee to ensure their safety.
"We'll get to the bottom of this. I instructed the competent services to make every effort to identify the attackers. The agencies began their work immediately after the report of the incident," Kadyrov wrote in his Telegram channel.
Dmitry Peskov, the presidential spokesman, confirmed that Vladimir Putin was informed of the incident and emphasized the need for an investigation. The Investigative Committee has initiated the investigation.
The Memorial Human Rights Organization holds Putin and Kadyrov responsible for the attack on Yelena Milashina and Alexander Nemov. They recalled that in 2019, after threats from Ramzan Kadyrov towards human rights activists and journalists, they demanded the opening of a criminal case, but their request was denied, a decision that was upheld by the court.
In 2020, Ramzan Kadyrov publicly referred to Novaya Gazeta journalists as "subhumans" after Yelena Milashina published a story on COVID-19 preventive measures in Chechnya. The article discussed why residents of the republic chose to conceal their illnesses and die at home.
Kadyrov demanded that the FSB (the Federal Security Service) take action against Milashina and her colleagues, stating, "If you want us to commit a crime and become criminals, then say so. Someone will assume responsibility and be punished according to the law. The person will go to prison and serve the sentence."