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Fractures, bruises, and traumatic brain injury: Moscow clinic examines journalist Elena Milashina, victim of July 4 assault in Chechnya

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Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina, who was violently assaulted in Chechnya on July 4, has been examined at a clinic in Moscow. The doctors reached several diagnoses, which included a closed-head injury, multiple fractures in her hands (up to 14), as well as multiple contusions to her soft tissues, according to a report by Novaya Gazeta. According to the newspaper, Milashina is conscious and in a stable condition.

Following the attack, Milashina underwent medical examinations in a hospital in Chechnya and later in Beslan, North Ossetia. Initially, the doctors observed fractures in the bones of her hands, but in Beslan, their conclusions could not be confirmed. However, a subsequent examination in Moscow revealed multiple fractures.

The attack on Elena Milashina and lawyer Alexander Nemov took place on 4 July in Chechnya. Masked men attacked them near the airport, as they made their way to a court hearing in the case of Zarema Musayeva, the mother of Chechen human rights defenders Abubakar and Ibrahim Yangulbayev. The assailants intercepted the car carrying the journalist and lawyer, subjecting them to a brutal beating and destroying their equipment and documents.

According to Milashina, the assailants forced her to eat soil while she was lying face down on the ground, beat her with polypropylene pipes, and tried to break her fingers when she refused to unlock her phone. Milashina and Nemov's detailed accounts of the assault can be found here.

More than a day after the attack, no criminal case has been opened.

Zarema Musayeva was sentenced to 5.5 years in a penal colony shortly after the attack on Milashina and Nemov became public knowledge. Musayeva’s husband, retired judge Saidi Yangulbayev, and their sons, human rights activists Abubakar and Ibrahim, regularly criticized the Ramzan Kadyrov regime.

Abubakar Yangulbayev has accused Kadyrov's law enforcement and security officers of “lawlessness on a daily basis” and said the case against his mother is Kadyrov's personal retaliation for his activities. Baisangur Yangulbayev and his brother Ibrahim left Russia in 2021. Abubakar fled Russia in December 2022. Their father, retired federal Judge Saidi Yangulbayev, and their sister Aliya, fled Russia in early 2022, fearing for their safety.

Photos: Anna Artemyeva / Novaya Gazeta

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