A Russian journalist was severely beaten by unknown attackers. He has been known for being critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And now he's dead.
Nikolai Andrushchenko, 73, was attacked six weeks ago and has lapsed into a coma since then. He eventually died Wednesday in St.Petersburg.
Andrushchenko co-founded Novy Peterburg newspaper. While his attackers remain unidentified, Novy Peterburg editor Denis Usov thinks that the assault is related to articles in the newspaper about corruption in the city.
Andrushchenko became popular for his writings on human rights and crime. He was also a member of the St. Petersburg city council from 1990 until 1993.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that Andrushchenko was imprisoned in 2007 on charges of defamation and obstruction of justice for his coverage of a murder investigation and trial in St. Petersburg. His colleagues also believed that his detention was due to Novy Peterburg's critical coverage of local authorities ahead of parliamentary elections. He was also beaten in November of that year by unidentified attackers.
Another Russian activist and writer Vladimir Kara-Murza slipped into coma last February following suspected poisoning of an unknown substance. His wife believes he was targeted for his role in convincing the U.S. to impose sanctions on Russian officials for the death in 2009 of yet another vocal critic of Putin- Sergei Magnitsky, who also died due to a brutal beating.
Kara-Murza has amazingly recovered from his almost incapacitated state only nearly two months ago. Last month, he gave a media interview that he plans to return to Russia from Washington to continue his activist democratic opposition to the Putin regime. He is convinced that the intention behind his poisoning was to kill him, and not just scare him. He said he is not sure if Putin is behind the attempts to kill him twice, only that he is sure the attempts on his life were politically-motivated and that someone ordered him killed.
From 2003-2015, 10 known Putin critics have died or were killed under mysterious circumstances, whose deaths some observers believe are also linked to their opposition to Putin.