Russian Man Attacked for Social Media Posts Against Government

An employee for Russian social network website VKontakte has been attacked in St. Petersburg following posts criticizing the government, the Mediazona news website reported Monday.

The man was beaten by two strangers who accused him of being a “national traitor, Jew and fifth columnist” as he arrived at his apartment block on Sunday evening. The attackers also stole the man's phone, bank cards and money, leaving him with three broken fingers.

He said that he did not know of any motive behind the attack, but said that he had posted criticism of the authorities on the social network on several “one-off cases,” Mediazona reported.

The case follows a similar incident on June 9 when the administrator of anti-Kremlin VKontakte group The Criminal Authority, Yegor Aleekseyev, was also attacked, Mediazona reported. Aleekseyev, who suffered a broken nose and concussion, said that he had been receiving threats for his political views.

Independent State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov claimed on his Facebook page last month that such attacks were becoming a trend in St. Petersburg. He said that the details of Russians expressing alternative political were being posted on the whoiswhos.me website, leading them to receive threats sometimes physical attacks.

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