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Yakemenko to Sue Reporter for Defamation

The head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Vasily Yakemenko, will file a defamation lawsuit this week against Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin for implicating him in a brutal attack on Kashin last year, Yakemenko's spokeswoman said Friday.

Kashin was beaten into a coma by two unknown attackers near his apartment building in November. No arrests have been made into the attack.

Kashin "has decided to add fuel to the fire" by linking Yakemenko, founder of two pro-Kremlin youth organizations, to the case, spokeswoman Kristina Potupchik wrote in her blog.

She said Yakemenko would file a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Kashin early this week.

Last Wednesday, Kashin wrote on his LiveJournal blog that he had no doubt that Yakemenko, whom he had criticized in his reporting, was connected to the attack.

President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that there had been "progress" in an investigation into the attack and promised to identify the assailants soon. He did not elaborate.

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