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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Caustic MK Columnist Injured in Second Attack

Alexander Minkin, an outspoken reporter for Moskovsky Komsomolets, was the victim of a second attack in the last five months Tuesday when he said two masked men burst through his balcony window at 4 a.m. and attacked him with lead pipes.


Minkin, a columnist who frequently makes government and military leaders the targets of his biting, satirical prose, said he and his wife, Tanya, escaped the latest attack unharmed when the two assailants tripped over a television stand near his window, giving him a moment to race to the door and scream down the hallway for help.


Nonetheless, one of the assailants swung at Minkin's head with a pipe and smashed a chest of drawers when the blow just missed, the reporter said. The attackers fled when Minkin's wife yelled to a neighbor to call the police, who arrived 40 minutes after the attack.


"It was like a horror movie," Minkin said in a telephone interview. "When the glass broke, I thought right away it was a bomb. That's the mental state all of this business has got me in."


Last September, while walking his dog, Minkin was struck on the head with a blunt instrument by a man in an army uniform. Minkin was also injured in a hit-and-run auto accident last month. The other motorist was never located.


One of Minkin's colleagues at Moskovsky Komsomolets, Dmitry Kholodov, was killed in 1994 by an exploding briefcase just after he had published a series of articles accusing Defense Minister Pavel Grachev of financial irregularities.


Minkin said that police told them they did not believe it was an attack ordered by a government official, since a high official would have sent a "professional who would finish the job." That excuse, he said, was laughable.


"I said to the police, 'What professionals do you mean?'" he said. "Like the professionals they use in Chechnya? If they're incompetent there, they're incompetent here."