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Victor in Apartment Lawsuit Suffers Severe Beating

An activist fighting against raider attacks on his apartment building in downtown Moscow was severely beaten Thursday evening, soon after winning a lawsuit against the raiders.

His wife suspects the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi in the attack.

Mikhail Shulman, head of the housing cooperative for building 10/7 on Rozhdestvensky Bulvar, was beaten by three men in the hall of his apartment building at about 8 p.m., his wife wrote on her LiveJournal blog Friday.

Shulman was hospitalized with a concussion, brain trauma and a broken skull, but he was conscious. He remained in intensive care Saturday afternoon.

His wife left Moscow on Friday night out of concern for her safety.

Police will decide whether to open a criminal case into the attack on Shulman, a city police source told RIA-Novosti on Friday, Rapsi reported.

The original post could not be found on RIA-Novosti's web site.

"Three beside the building, recognizable style," Shulman's wife wrote, comparing the attack to the beating of Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin in November 2010 by unidentified men.

Kashin blamed the attack, which left him in a coma for days, on people linked to the Seliger Camp founded by Nashi.

No one has been arrested in that case, and Kashin was acquitted in June of defamation over his implication of Nashi in the attack.

He had been sued by Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and a founder of Nashi.

Nashi spokeswoman Kristina Potupchik on her LiveJournal blog Friday denied that Nashi played a role in the attack on Shulman.

Potupchik said activists of Seliger Camp project "Vse Doma," or "All Homes," had approached Shulman to determine who was wrong in the conflict between the building's residents.

But they had failed to do that and stopped working on the issue in November, Potupchik said.

Potupchik noted that Shulman was attacked in November 2010, apparently hinting that he had enemies before Nashi approached him.

In November 2010, a young man roughed up Shulman and his sister in downtown Moscow following their departure from a court building, Shulman wrote on his blog at the time.

Shulman's wife linked Thursday's attack to her husband's recent victory in a lawsuit to return the loft of his apartment building to common property of the residents.

His wife did not elaborate further, but opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in September 2010 that Shulman and his neighbors were in a legal dispute with Viktor Zhurbinov.

They accused Zhurbinov of illegally seizing the loft in a raider attack.

The article linked Zhurbinov to an obscure company, Votek-Estate, or VTK-Est, which offers legal help to residents of apartment buildings in registering the lofts as their property.

Larisa Shulman, Mikhail Shulman's sister, implicated Votek-Estate and Zhurbinov in Thursday's attack on her brother while talking to RSN radio Friday.

No one at Votek-Estate was available for comment Sunday, a spokesman at its office said.

An October story on Vesti FM radio, however, said it was Shulman and his relatives who illegally seized two-thirds of the apartment building.

The report cited his displeased neighbors and a district police officer, who said it was "difficult to fight" the Shulmans and that one had to be "careful" with them.

In November, three Nashi activists approached Shulman outside his apartment building and accused him of illegally creating a housing cooperative, corruption and stealing property from the state, Shulman wrote on his LiveJournal blog at the time.

The incident was recorded by television reporters.

Later that day, Shulman identified the three activists as Sergei Chulochnikov, Genrikh Patrakov and Alexander Chernov.

All three were students at the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering and repeat visitors to the summer camp that Nashi founded on Lake Seliger in the Tver region.

Shulman found the three young men on the social-networking website Vkontakte and posted photographs of them taken from there.

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