Ekho Moskvy Editor Felgenhauer Expected to Survive Stabbing Attack

The deputy editor of Moscow's Ekho Moskvy radio station who was stabbed earlier on Monday has been placed in an artificial coma after undergoing surgery.

Alexei Venediktov, the station's editor-in-chief, said an intruder broke into its offices in central Moscow and stabbed Tatiana Felgenhauer in the neck before being wrestled to the ground by staff.

Doctors said Felgenhauer had lost a lot of blood but her life was not in danger, Venediktov told Radio Svoboda.

The attacker, a 48-year-old dual Russian-Israeli citizen called Boris Grits, pepper-sprayed a guard at the building's entrance before taking an elevator to Ekho Moskvy's offices, the station said earlier on Monday.

“According to preliminary information, personal enmity served as the motive for the attack,” Moscow city police said in an online statement. 

Ekho Moskvy said however that Grits was not acquainted with Felgenhauer. He reportedly had a floor plan of the office with English notations.

St. Petersburg-based Channel 5 television aired a police interrogation with Grits in which he said he'd had a telepathic connection with Felgenhauer for 5 years.

“I was motivated by the fact that she has been sexually harassing me for 2 months," he said. "Every night, using telepathic means of contact, she entered and sexually harassed me.”

Channel 5 earlier reported that Grits had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Investigative Committee has opened a murder case.

Ekho Moskvy is among the last independent media outlets in Russia and has been repeatedly been issued warnings by state media watchdog Roskomnadzor, which said in February the station was violating a Russian law passed in 2016 restricting foreign media ownership to no more than 20 percent of shares.

Earlier this month, Russian state media accused Ekho Moskvy of working with unspecified "Western non-profits" to influence Russia's 2018 presidential election.

Asked if the topic of her most recent radio show could be behind the attack, editor-in-chief Venediktov declined to speculate and said he would leave it to the police.

He cited a string of attacks and threats against female journalists at Ekho Moskvy which he said authorities had not prosecuted. These included Yulia Latynina, whose car and home were attacked before she fled Russia last month, Ksenia Larina and Karina Orlova, who also left Russia.

"It is precisely this impunity that enables psychiatrically unstable people to commit these attacks,” he said.

In a statement on the attack, the Journalists' Trade Union said part of the blame fell on state television.

"The television network Rossiya-24 has repeatedly aired segments accusing Ekho Moskvy journalists, and personally Tatiana Felgenhauer, of working ‘for the U.S. State Department’ and cooperating with certain Western NGOs, criticizing the government, and even supposedly participating in Alexei Navalny’s protests," it said. 

Navalny is an opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner who hopes to be a candidate in next year's presidential elections. 

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