A friend of a supporter of Alexey Navalny was attacked for attempting to screen the investigative film “Chaika” in the Southern Russian Krasnodar region, Alexi Mandrigelya, a Progress party branch member in the Krasnodar region reported on his Facebook page Monday.
“They took my phone, maybe for me not to call anyone. And they did not take any money,” Alexei Mandrigelya's friend Artyom Martynenko told RBC newspaper Monday.
Last Thursday, Martynenko met with the director of a cinema theater in the town of Kushchevskaya in the Krasnodar region, and asked if he could rent a hall to screen the film "Chaika.”
After the visit, he was attacked by two people on the street who hit him in the head with a metal rod several times and took his cell phone, Mandrigelya said in his post.
Mandrigelya asked Martynenko to contact the local cinema because on Dec. 14, the Progress party's Moscow headquarters had asked its Krasnodar branch to organize a "Chaika" film screening in Kushchevskaya.
The film, made by Alexey Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), accuses Prosecutor General Yury Chaika's family members and colleagues of being involved in shady business deals and various illegal activities, including a murder.
The movie theater director later refused to provide the activist with the cinema hall. He explained that the cinema timetable is very tight and all screenings have already been scheduled, RBC reported.
The director also told RBC the attack report was a canard, and an attempt to bolster the activists' popularity.
Kushchevskaya is the former hometown of the Tsapok gang, responsible for a series of murders and illegal business activities.
The film links the Tsapok gang to former Prosecutor General Yury Chaika's deputy Gennady Lopatin and his ex-wife Olga Lopatina, who, FBK claims, co-owns a hotel in Greece with Chaika's son Artyom.