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Kashin Describes His Attacker

Oleg Kashin, a Kommersant reporter brutally beaten Nov. 6, has told investigators from his hospital bed that the attacker who broke his jaw, fingers and leg looked like a football fan, reported Monday.

Last week, the All-Russia Union of Football Fans denied any involvement in the attack, which has angered bloggers and civil activists and moved President Dmitry Medvedev to promise that justice would be meted out, even if the mastermind was a senior official.

No arrests have been made in the beating, but speculation has swirled that it might have been organized by someone who Kashin targeted in his reports, including senior officials linked to pro-Kremlin youth groups.

National media have reported that football fan groups have cooperated with pro-Kremlin youth movements in the past when the youth needed muscle to deal with opposition groups.

Kommersant reported Monday that the investigation into the attack has been passed to Investigative Committee official Sergei Golkin after exchanging hands several times last week. Golkin oversaw investigations into the murders of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov in 2004 and reporter Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. Both cases went to court, but the suspects were freed for lack of evidence.

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