As many of you have heard, superstar Kommersant and Forbes Russia Oleg Kashin had the shit beaten out of him over the weekend. What we didn’t know till yesterday was that Kashin’s father was visiting from out of town and was waiting for Oleg upstairs.
Over the weekend, Kashin underwent a second round of surgery. Doctors say it was successful and, after removing the bone fragments in his cranial cavity, that they’ve ruled out brain damage. His broken leg has been set, as has his jaw, which was fixed in the first operation so he could breathe.
Kashin’s friends report that the preliminary investigation was shoddy until a more elite crew was brought in. At first, however, Kashin’s estranged wife, Evgenia Milova, was repeatedly questioned if Kashin was gay. Some of the detectives hadn’t familiarized themselves with Kashin’s writings and seemed clueless about Twitter and LiveJournal, the two lifelines of the Russian chattering class. One detective, said Kashin’s friend, wrote “Blog,” as if it were an actual publication. Another detective wanted to know “if [Kashin] used his head” — i.e., thought of the consequences — when writing his characteristically sharp commentary. Yet another asked if he knew of “Beketov, the vegetable”?
Last night, Moscow journalists gathered in front of the Central Directorate of Internal Affairs to show solidarity with Kashin and sign a petition calling on President Medvedev to, well, protect journalists. The police left everyone alone and the official spokesman told us they view the vigil/protest “with empathy.” For once.
Meanwhile, footage from the surveillance camera that caught the beating surfaced online Monday morning. (Not surprisingly, it came from LifeNews, which seems to have high-ranking security officials as godfathers to their children.)
Warning: the video is really quite disturbing.