The car of a leading Russian journalist caught fire on the morning of 3 September, in what is alleged to be a second attack against the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio host in only two months.
Yulia Latynina, a talk show host on Ekho Moskvy and columnist at Novaya Gazeta, spoke on the air yesterday, stating: “This morning my car caught fire for no apparent reason and burned to the ground. The car was located on the same site in front of the house, the same place where it was previously attacked, when us and our neighbours were sprayed with a non-lethal poisonous substance.”
In July of this year, eight people including two children were seriously affected by the unidentified substance that was used in an attack on her home in the suburbs of Moscow.
Though investigators are yet to uncover the identity of the attackers, Latynina says that the same people are likely to be responsible for both incidents.
While an investigator suggested that the fire could have been caused by faulty electrical wiring, Latynina maintains that even if that were true, it would be due to “the consequences of the first attack” and that a criminal investigation must be launched.
Latynina is known to be a fierce critic of Kremlin policies, and according to Nina Ognianova, Program Coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, she is “one of many Novaya Gazeta journalists who have taken enormous risks to carry out independent journalism”.