Russian Nobel laureate splattered with paint in apparent protest over Ukraine war coverage

Russian co-winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize Dmitry Muratov was attacked on a train with red paint on Thursday, he said, in apparent protest against his newspaper’s coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Muratov’s investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta announced last week that it was suspending its online and print activities until the end of what Russia calls its “special operation” in Ukraine after a second warning from the state regulator. communications.

Photos posted by the newspaper on the Telegram messaging app showed Muratov with red paint on his head and clothes and around his sleeping compartment on a Moscow-Samara train.

“They poured oil paint with acetone all over the compartment. The eyes burned a lot,” Muratov said, as quoted by the newspaper.

“Muratov, this is for you from our boys,” the forward quoted the post as saying.

Moscow’s pressure on the media

Pressure against liberal Russian media has intensified since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in February, with most mainstream media and state-controlled organizations sticking closely to the language used by the Kremlin to describe the dispute.

Several opposition activists reported threatening messages painted on the doors of their apartments.

Russia says its “special military operation” in Ukraine is needed because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow needed to defend Russian speakers in Ukraine from persecution.

Ukraine and critics in Russia have dismissed the Kremlin’s persecution claims and said Russia is waging an unprovoked war of aggression.

NATO and other Western allies imposed harsh sanctions in an effort to put economic pressure on Russia following its invasion.