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Kommersant's Kashin Gets German Press Prize

Kashin For MT

Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin has been awarded the same German press award that Anna Politkovskaya won in 2005, a year before her murder, Interfax reported.

The Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media, awarded by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, goes to journalists and publishers who are "committed to the cause of protecting and expanding freedom of the press," the organization said on its web site Tuesday.

Kashin, 31, has received wide acclaim for his stories on extreme nationalists, pro-Kremlin youth groups and the destruction of the Khimki forest.

In November, he was beaten up by unidentified thugs in what investigators said was retaliation for his critical articles. President Dmitry Medvedev personally promised him to bring the attackers to justice, but no one has been arrested. Kashin said he blamed the attack on Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and founder of the radical pro-governmental group Nashi.

Kashin shares the prize with Fahem Boukaddous of Tunisia and Stefan Buchen of Germany. Each of the three will receive a check for 30,000 euros ($42,000) at the awards ceremony in Leipzig in mid-October.

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