AM News: NTV Claims Sky News Hired Actors for Show on Mercenaries; Kasyanov Attacked

August 10, 2016
Screen grab of Sky News feature on Russian mercenaries August 10, 2016.

LIVE UPDATES: Sky News broadcast their investigation of Russian mercenaries in Syria, and Russia’s NTV claimed actors were used.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

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Opposition Leader Kasyanov Attacked by Ultranationalist Thugs in Stavropol

Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the Parnas opposition party was attacked by unidentified ultranationalist thugs in Stravropol as he was about to hold a public meeting, RBC reports, citing Kasyanov’s Facebook page.
Says Kasyanov (translation by The Interpreter):

Today in Stavropol, pro-Kremlin hooligans tried to disrupt my meeting with voters, along with A.B. [Andrei] Zubov. At the entrance to the Center for Non-traditional Technologies, about 30-40 people attacked us, trying to cause physical harm. My security was able to defend us, but they managed to rip my shirt : ))

After the completion of the three-hour meeting, the hooligans once again attacked us, throwing tomatoes and eggs not only at us but the police officers who accompanied us. They also shouted threats and swear words.

I made an appeal to the police to open a criminal case under several articles of the Criminal Code.
Earlier, Kasyanov was attacked outside the Hotel Kontinent where about 30 people had gathered, Zubov, who is a Parnas candidate, told press. He said “an entire group” of people had been brought in from Moscow, and they shouted at them. 

“Naturally, they gave us a ticket, I don’t remember, to Brussels or Washington. They said, “Leave,” Zubov said. 

His reference is to a large, cardboard mock-up of a ticket held by the assailants.

Among the attackers were Cossacks and activists from the National Liberation Movement (NOD), ultranationalist groups which have frequently attacked liberal opposition members.

PARNAS tweeted videos of the incident: 

Translation: NOD activists confront the PARNAS Stavropol candidates.

Translation: Around 40 NOD activists and Cossacks start a fight while M. Kasyanov leaves the hall.

Zubov said Kasyanov was hit and kicked several times, and his shirt was torn, but he was not injured.

Translation: Mikhail Kasyanov is alive and well, and already giving an interview to local journalists. 

In April, when Kasyanov spoke in Togliatti, activists showed up with rakes and tried to hit him over the head. In Nizhny Novgorod in February, Kasyanov cancelled a meeting because of a series of attacks, including being hit with eggs in Vladimir.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick