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Gang Attacks Navalny Campaign's Landlord in Siberia

Spitzgogo_CHEN / Flickr

An armed gang has violently beaten a man in Siberia after his family rented office space to the presidential campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The victim, the son of the campaign's landlord in the city of Irkutsk, had been discussing repair work with the men before they began to beat him with baseball bats.

The landlord's son was taken to hospital, where he is being treated with stitches, according to Sergei Bespalov, the coordinator of Navalny's Irkutsk headquarters.

Bespalov said that Navalny's campaign had lost its former headquarters in the city after “bandits” confronted the landlord.

“They threatened that landlord,” Bespalov told the Meduza news site. “But apparently this time they decided not to talk, but just to attack.”

Navalny's campaign has repeatedly faced challenges opening offices in Russia's regions. Over the past month, it has had to delay opening offices in Moscow and several other cities after landlords backed out of lease agreements at the last minute.

The campaign has also faced violence: In April, an assailant hurled a mix of green antiseptic and a noxious chemical in Navalny's face, causing the politician to lose nearly 80 percent of his vision in his right eye.

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