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23 Oct, 2017 10:15

Man stabs anchor in neck at Russian radio station Echo of Moscow

A knife-weilding man who claimed a 'telepathic' connection attacked a female journalist after forcing his way in the Echo of Moscow radio station in Moscow. The woman was taken to hospital and is currently 'in medical coma.'

Tatiana Felgengauer was stabbed in the neck by the assailant, the station's editor-in-chief Aleksey Venediktov said on Monday. The attacker was subdued by the station’s security guards, he added. 

Station staffer Olga Bychkova, who witnessed the attack, told RIA Novosti that the assailant first used a pepper spray to disable the guard manning the entrance to the station building. He also slashed the hand of another security guard as he was being apprehended.

Felgengauer’s injury required surgery, after which she was placed in an intensive care ward for recovery, he said.

According to Venediktov, among the personal possessions of the attacker seized by the police was a plan of the building in which the Echo of Moscow studios are located. The rooms were marked in English, he added.

Vitaly Ruvinsky, the editor-in-chief of the station’s website, posted a photo of the alleged attacker on his Twitter feed. Another photo apparently shows the moment of the assailant's detention by the police.

Police said a preliminary investigation indicated that the attacker had acted out of a personal grudge against Felgengauer.

Echo of Moscow tweeted that the attacker’s name is Boris Grits. The station also posted a link to a blog, which it believes to belong to the attacker. Writing alternatively in Russian and English, the author claims to be the victim of “telepathic sexual assault” by the Russian journalist. Felgengauer, the blog claims, “monitors me practically in real-time, knows everything I write or say.” The blog appears to be written by a person living in Israel.

The post dated October 14 includes an open threat: “In a few weeks I am coming to Moscow, and if this does not stop, the consequences may be very unpleasant.”

“One thing I know for sure: I am sick of Tatiana Felgengauer.”

In video footage of the suspect’s questioning, released by the Interior Ministry, Grits said that he has known the victim since 2012, but “only via a telepathic contact.”

“She’s been after me for the last two months. Every night she used this telepathic link to get in and torment me sexually,” he said, explaining the motives behind his attack on Felgengauer.

A forensic psychiatric examination has been ordered for Grits, according to Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigative Committee. The driver’s license found on the perpetrator shows he has dual Israeli-Russian citizenship. Grits left for Israel in 2003 and returned to Moscow only a month ago, staying at a friend’s apartment.

A spokesman for the Russian General Prosecutor’s office Aleksandr Kurennoy called the attack “outrageous” and said the office will closely monitor the police investigation into it.

Felgengauer, 32, is the deputy editor-in-chief and host of one of the station’s talk shows. She first appeared on-air in 2005 as an intern correspondent and has been working for Echo of Moscow ever since.

Echo of Moscow is a popular Russian news and political talk radio station. It prides itself for giving a platform to many opposition voices, as well as those of pro-government activists.