Editors of a local Telegram news channel in the central Russian city of Izhevsk revealed on Friday that one of their journalists was kidnapped and beaten on Saturday, potentially in response to his recent reporting on a local defence contractor.
The editors of Izhevsky Venik said that Alexander Skvortsov was abducted from outside his home by three unknown men on 28 January. According to the editors’ post, the men “pulled a hat over his eyes, wrapped him in tape, sealed his mouth shut, tied his hands,” and then drove him to what Skvortsov guessed to be a room in a basement.
Photo: Telegram / Izhv_v
The attackers told him that he could not “shit on respected people” and warned him not to continue writing about Zala Aero, a Russian air defence manufacturer based in Izhevsk. They then beat Skvortsov and threatened to come after other Izhevsky Venik journalists and their families, the editors said.
The abductors returned Skvortsov to his home on Sunday, according to the editors, who also said that no marks from the beating had been left on his body. The editors said they suspected Zala Aero owner Alexander Zakharov was personally involved in ordering the attack, which they suggested followed Izhevsky Venik’s publication of a series of articles about Zala Aero’s production of Lancet drones.
The editors said that after hearing that Zakharov may have been involved, the police had refused to investigate the attack.