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Russian Opposition Leader Kasyanov Attacked by Nationalists

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti Mikhail Kasyanov

Opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov has been attacked by a crowd of nationalists in Russia's southern city of Stavropol, the Dozhd TV channel reported Wednesday.

A group of 30 people had waited for Kasyanov outside a hotel in the city, said eyewitness Andrey Zubov, a candidate for Kasyanov’s PARNAS party. The former prime minister had been in the city with PARNAS campaigning ahead of State Duma elections next month.

“On arrival, they began yelling at us to leave and handed us tickets to Brussels or Washington, I can’t remember. They then started beating up Mikhail [Kasyanov],” he said, Dozhd reported.

The attackers “hit Kasyanov, ripping his shirt with their hands and legs, even though security guards tried to constrain them,” said Zubov, claiming that he personally recognized several of the attackers.

Zubov identified the attackers as members of the Pro-Kremlin People’s Liberation Front nationalist movement (NOD) and claimed that the group was “taken from place to place” to harass opposition politicians.

The NOD have denied any involvement in the incident.

Kasyanov has been targeted on several occasions, with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov posting a video which showed him caught in the cross-hairs of a sniper rifle back in February.

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