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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

20 Masked Attackers Storm Soros Institute

About 20 masked men carrying clubs swooped down on the disputed headquarters of George Soros' Open Society Institute on Friday night in an attack that injured 10, including the building's owner.

The raid was a failed attempt to retake the building and organized by the Open Society Institute's lawyers in New York, a source close to the institute said Sunday.

Institute employees were kicked out of their headquarters Nov. 6 when a group of about 50 gunmen acting on orders from building owner Kantemir Karamzin seized the building in a rent dispute.

A security camera recording aired on NTV television Saturday showed a group of men in black scaling the fence around the building on 8 Ozerkovskaya Naberezhnaya the night before and running toward the security office.

The Soros source said lawyers at Open Society's main headquarters in New York had orchestrated the attack behind the backs of both Soros and the Open Society Institute Russia in an effort to force Karamzin to cede the building "the hard way."

"Open Society's employees were asked to come to the offices on Friday night. We were told that court marshals would show up and force Karamzin to vacate the building and that we could make a list of missing personal belongings on the spot," the source said.

"We waited until half past 10 like complete fools and no one came. And then, when the attack started, we were called by lawyers and told to get out of there."

Yekaterina Geniyeva, the president of Open Society Institute Russia, said Sunday that she had spoken with Soros the day before and his feelings about the latest raid were "extremely negative."

"I do not know who sanctioned this attack," she said by telephone. "It came as a complete shock to me. The only thing I can tell you is that it wasn't us and it wasn't George Soros."

Open Society Institute Russia's lawyer, Pavel Kuzmin, said the chances that the rent dispute could be resolved "in a civilized manner" have now been lost. "It looks like mafia infighting now. This is no different from what Karamzin's people did to us," he said.

"It is impossible to say what will happen next. Karamzin has already hinted that he will retaliate."

Karamzin told NTV that he was sure that the Soros foundation was behind Friday night's attack.

Karamzin said he and five of his employees suffered minor injuries, while four others were briefly hospitalized with injuries including a broken nose and a concussion.

The long-running dispute stems from a 1999 agreement under which Open Society gets to rent the building for $10,500 per month for 10 years. Open Society says it has spent $2.5 million renovating the building.

Karamzin says the building is worth $100,000 per month and Open Society owes several million dollars in back rent and unpaid utility bills.

A Moscow court upheld the 1999 agreement earlier this year.