An award-winning Russian investigative journalist is in hospital after being badly beaten by armed assailants during a trip to Chechnya, the Memorial human rights group said on Tuesday, July 4.

"Elena Milashina's fingers have been broken and she is sometimes losing consciousness. She has bruises all over her body," the group said on social media.

The incident happened early on Tuesday as Milashina and the lawyer Alexander Nemov were travelling from the airport.

"They were savagely kicked, including in the face, received death threats and were threatened with a gun to the head. Their equipment was taken away and smashed," Memorial said.

Milashina's paper Novaya Gazeta, Russia's top independent publication, confirmed the incident.

Photo: @no_torture Telegram Channel. 


It said she and Nemov were currently in hospital in the Chechen capital Grozny.

Novaya Gazeta said she was in Grozny to attend the sentencing of Zarema Musayeva, the mother of three exiles critical of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.

Musayeva was detained by Chechen forces in January last year in Nizhny Novgorod -- a city 1,800 kilometres (1,120 miles) north of Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta in February last year said Milashina had to leave Russia temporarily after receiving death threats from the Chechen leadership.

Milashina has covered rights abuses in Chechnya for Russia's top independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta for years.

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Novaya Gazeta, whose chief editor Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, has since 2000 seen six of its journalists and contributors killed, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.

By focusing on rights abuses in Chechnya, Milashina has followed in the footsteps of Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the Kremlin's policies in Chechnya, who was shot dead in 2006.

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