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Murmansk Governor Appears in Hospital Video After Knife Attack

Murmansk region Governor Andrei Chibis.

Murmansk region Governor Andrei Chibis appeared in a hospital video on Friday morning after surviving a knife attack the day before.

An unidentified assailant stabbed the official in his stomach following a meeting with residents in the Arctic town of Apatity on Thursday evening.

Chibis underwent surgery, after which the regional health chief assessed his condition as “difficult,” while the local hospital’s head doctor said the governor was “very lucky” that his aorta was not impacted by the attack.

“I’m going to recover now and then continue fighting,” Chibis, lying in a hospital bed, said in a video posted on the messaging app Telegram early Friday.

The governor’s spokeswoman Liliya Sechkina told Russia’s state broadcaster Rossiya-24 that it was too early to say when the governor was expected to make a full recovery.

Chibis’ deputy Nadezhda Aksyonova will serve as acting governor of Murmansk during his recovery, the regional administration said later on Friday.

Investigators said an unidentified man was detained on suspicion of attempting to assassinate Chibis.

“During the interrogation, the man explained that he had committed the attack because he disliked the governor, although he did not know him personally,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said.

The RBC news website, citing an anonymous source, identified the suspect as 42-year-old local railway worker Alexander Bydanov. Investigators reportedly seized Bydanov’s personal electronic devices during searches at his apartment in Apatity.

Armed attacks on public officials are rare in Russia. The last time a regional head was attacked was in 2009, when the then-head of the republic of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was wounded in a suicide bombing.

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