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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Violinists Are Assaulted in Separate Attacks

Two members of the acclaimed Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra were mugged in the city in as many days, in what police said might be related attacks.

Denis Shulgin, a second violinist with the orchestra, who was assaulted on Kutuzovsky Prospekt and had his instrument stolen, was hospitalized with head wounds on Monday evening, Interfax reported Tuesday.

First violinist Georgy Tsai was found unconscious with stab wounds to his abdomen, hands and legs on Ulitsa Plekhanova on Sunday. He told police that he had been attacked by five strangers, who then stole his bag.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the attack on Shulgin was linked to the assault the day before, but he might also have been targeted because he was carrying his valuable violin, a police spokesman said, Interfax reported. One theory is that the aim of the crimes was to stop the orchestra from performing, the spokesman said.

"We think that it's just a coincidence, although investigators are working on the case," orchestra deputy director Ivan Malyuta said, RIA Novosti reported. Malyuta said that both musicians were in the same hospital.