×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Deputies Hit Back at Baseball Bat Threat

In an apparent sign of growing pre-election nervousness, a senior United Russia official on Tuesday threatened legal action against a Communist colleague who jokingly promised to take baseball bats to poll-rigging officials.

The scandal stems from a statement by Vladimir Rashkin, a State Duma deputy with the Communists, who threatened vigilante action against members of the elections commission.

"We have already purchased baseball bats and will be knocking off mischievous hands of those who break the law and rewrite [election] protocols," he said at a news conference in Saratov on Friday, the local newspaper Versia reported.

When asked whether the party has "combat teams" ready, he added: "We have them. The first is in front of you &mdash it's Rashkin. All of you guys are soft, white and fuzzy, but the time has come."

The spirited speech prompted the ruling party's Vladimir Medinsky, also a Duma deputy, to ask law enforcement agencies to check Rashkin's words.

Such statements from a public politician can only be considered a "call for terror," Medinsky said, Interfax reported. He added that the Duma's Credentials and Ethics Commission will also be asked to look into the matter.

Opposition parties, including the Communists, have been accusing election officials in recent years of large-scale falsifications in favor of United Russia, though most cases never reached courts.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more