Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Police Investigate Attack on BBC Journalists in Astrakhan

Steve Rosenberg of the BBC.

Russian police have opened a criminal investigation after a team of BBC journalists was attacked in the southern city of Astrakhan.

At least "three aggressive men" took part in the attack, during which a cameraman was beaten and his camera smashed, the BBC reported Thursday, citing its Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg.

The attackers made make their escape in a getaway vehicle, the report said.

The journalists — who had traveled to Astrakhan to investigate reports of Russian servicemen being killed near the border with Ukraine — were questioned by police for four hours after the attack.

Upon returning from the police station, the journalists discovered that recording equipment left in their car had been tampered with.

A hard drive from their main computer as well as several memory cards had been wiped clean of any information, the BBC quoted Rosenberg as saying.

Pyotr Rusanov, a spokesman for the local police, confirmed a victim had filed a report at the station and that a criminal investigation had been opened on charges of robbery, state-run RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The journalists are now back in Moscow and are safe, the BBC said.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.