Dmitry Muratov, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning editor of Russia’s major independent newspaper, was showered with red paint during an attack Thursday inside a Moscow train car, according to Novaya Gazeta’s website.
Muratov said his eyes were burning after an unknown person threw oil paint with acetone on him inside a train car at Kazansky railway station.
“Muratov, here’s to you for our boys,” the assailant shouted, according to Muratov.
Pictures released by the paper show Muratov’s head, shirt and arms covered in red paint. A second photo shows red splashes resembling bloodstains over what appears to be a table, window and pillows inside the train carriage.
Novaya Gazeta said the Telegram channel of a group called “Union Z paratroopers” assumed responsibility for the attack in a post that has since been deleted. According to an English translation of the post, the group vowed to come after those supporting what they falsely claimed were lies about atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine.
State-backed media in Russia have sought to discredit some pictures and video from Bucha showing dead civilians. Russia claims Ukrainians staged the slaughter in the Kyiv suburb.
Meanwhile, Russia is stepping up its assault on eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said Friday that Russia is responsible for a rocket attack on a train station used to evacuate civilians in Kramatorsk, in the eastern Donetsk region. Over 30 people were killed, according to authorities, and more than 100 were wounded.
Last week, Novaya Gazeta announced it was forced to stop publishing until the Ukraine war ends after receiving a second warning from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator.
Journalists from Novaya Gazeta on Thursday launched a new venture called Novaya Gazeta Europe, not officially associated with the Russian publication, according to Reuters.
Muratov, along with journalist Maria Ressa, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.”
Muratov said in March he intends to auction off his Nobel medal to support Ukrainian refugees. He told the BBC in December that he was dedicating his award to journalists murdered on the job.