A prominent Russian journalist known for articles criticizing Russian government and President Vladimir Putin has died in St. Petersburg after being severely beaten by unknown assailants.
Nikolai Andrushchenko, a 73-year-old co-founder of the newspaper Novy Petersburg, was attacked on March 9 and had been unconscious since then.
Andrushchenko’s colleagues and his lawyer say he underwent brain surgery after the attack and initially had been connected to a ventilator, but later was able to breath on his own.
However, they said he never regained consciousness and died on April 19.
His attackers have not been found.
Andrushchenko expressed concern about Putin after he came to power in 2000, saying that the secret services were taking control of Russia.
He was arrested in 2007 and claimed he was tortured in custody. In 2009, a court in St. Petersburg found him guilty of libel and extremism and fined him.
The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized him a political prisoner when he was in custody.