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.

Criminal Case Opened Over Sobchak Restaurant Tussle

Police have opened a criminal investigation into an alleged fight involving socialite and journalist Kseniya Sobchak, opposition leader Ilya Yashin, and journalists from pro-Kremlin tabloid Life News, Interfax reported Friday.

The Life News correspondents have accused Sobchak, Yashin, Parnas leader Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Prokhorov aide Anton Krasovsky of attacking them earlier this month at Sobchak's restaurant Tverbul in central Moscow, after the journalists turned a video camera on the group. Police have opened an investigation into the alleged destruction of the journalists' $4,000 video camera in the attack.

Life News said in an article Friday that the incident took place after its journalists entered Tverbul on March 12 to report on an award ceremony for Soviet film director Pavel Lungin. The journalists noticed the group of opposition figures "in a most impartial manner speaking about those who attend demonstrations, and about government leaders" and began videotaping their conversation, Life News said.

Within a few minutes, members of the group saw the journalists videotaping them and attacked, swinging punches and yelling threats, the tabloid report said.

Yashin said he suspected the case of being political.

"We're used to this sort of thing, and all of this is political in nature," Yashin told Interfax. "If the [judicial] process starts, we'll use our rich experience of defending [ourselves] within the walls of  court."

Opposition leaders have been the targets of embarrassing reports on Life News before. The tabloid released private phone conversations of Boris Nemtsov last year in which Nemtsov spoke disparagingly about certain members of the opposition.

Earlier this month, Yashin said the Life News journalists at Tverbul had been asked to stop videotaping because it was "meddling in [their] private life, which is illegal."

Kseniya Sobchak made a splash in the media last year after shooting a video of Federal Youth Agency head Vasily Yakemenko dining at an extravagant Moscow restaurant. She asked Yakemenko how he could afford such a meal, a question the official evaded.

… 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.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more