Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for publishing pieces critical of the Russian Government and President Vladimir Putin, was attacked during a train trip on Thursday.

Muratov shared photos of the aftermath of the attack on Telegram. The attacker, who remains unknown, coated Muratov and his entire private train cabin with red paint. The paint had acetone in it, and Muratov wrote along with the picture “My eyes burned terribly.”

The journalist’s attacker apparently shouted, “Muratov, here’s to you for our boys,” which likely sounds like a pro-war phrase where “our boys” are Russian soldiers, as Novaya Gazeta had been publishing pieces critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, this independent outlet had already temporarily shuttered before the attack.

Novaya Gazeta recently announced that they would temporarily cease operations because of newly established Russian censorship laws threatening 15 years of prison for journalists that refer to the war in Ukraine as an “invasion” or publish something thought of as critical of the military. Muratov is likely a target of pro-war agitators because of his recent actions such as auctioning off his Nobel Peace Prize to raise funds for Ukraine’s humanitarian efforts.

The reporters at Novaya Gazeta are not simply waiting for this invasion to end. Reporters from this paper and others silenced by the Russian government have formed Novaya Gazeta, Europe, an independent branch of the paper that can operate outside of the Russian government’s overreach. The site’s editor-in-chief, Kirill Martynov, said that they are “ready to fight for the freedom of speech.”

A timer on the Nova Gazeta EU website says it will officially be launching in just under six days.

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