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Kashin Sued for $3,500 for Beating Claim

The head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs filed on Monday a 100,000 ruble ($3,500) defamation lawsuit against journalist Oleg Kashin for linking him to a brutal attack, the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi said.

Vasily Yakemenko may also demand a criminal case to be opened against Kashin, a Kommersant reporter who was beaten into a coma by two unknown men outside his Moscow apartment building in November, Nashi said in an e-mailed statement. No arrests have been made over the attack.

No date for a court hearing has been set, said Nashi, which was previously headed by Yakemenko.

Kashin did not comment on the lawsuit Monday. He wrote on his LiveJournal blog last month that he had no doubt that Yakemenko, whom Kashin had criticized in his reporting, was behind the attack. Nashi, known for organizing intimidation campaigns against opposition activists and journalists, has been accused of violence in the past but not been convicted of wrongdoing in court.

Yakemenko threatened to sue Kashin late last month and followed through after the journalist refused to remove the allegations from his blog.

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