While the rest of the world was hyperventilating about Wikileaks, pummeled journalist Oleg Kashin published his first story after his beating three weeks ago.

In the article, called “Gagarin and I” (Gagarin holds a special place in Kashin’s heart), Kashin describes his time in the hospital — feeding tubes, flirting with nurses. He acts like the Kashin we know from his stories: He figures out who the snitch is feeding string to tabloid LifeNews (one of the doctors, who’s lining his pockets with reports of Kashin’s heroic words that he never utters); he is counterintuitive and wry (he asks for a pen — to scratch his arm under the cast).

He also mentions the young journalism students who have taken up his cause, students he mentions again in the far more striking television interview with TV legend Parfyonov. Kashin, who says he doesn’t know with any degree of certainty who did this to him, says he just wants to go back to working instead of becoming a figure, a move he thinks would be a betrayal to those students and all those whose strong reactions helped him get the best medical care possible. The question now, he says lisping through some missing teeth, is how to spend that “symbolic capital,” a question that he says, “stresses me out.”

See below. (In Russian.)

h/t Sean Guillory

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