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Russian paper vows to find the truth about journalist's beating

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Moscow reporter savagely beaten
  • Detained suspects tell police that Anatoly Adamchuk planned his attack
  • The newspaper reporter is the second to be beaten in the last few days
  • Both were looking into government plans to build a road through forests
  • Adamchuk's newspaper vows to get to the bottom of what happened
  • Russia

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- A Russian newspaper expressed shock Thursday over the beating of one of its journalists who police say staged his own attack.

Natalya Znamenskoye, the chief news editor of the Zhukovskiye News, said the newspaper -- based in Zhukovshy, just outside Moscow -- was not ready to draw any conclusions. She said that even though Adamchuk had worked at the paper only briefly, his colleagues had no reason not to trust him.

"He worked on complicated topics, honestly gathered information and he always followed journalistic ethics," Znamenskoye said in a statement.

"However, the fact remains a fact that that our reporter is being accused of intentional falsification.

We consider it a point of honor for our newspaper to dig out the truth, to prove or disprove, was this really an attack on Anatoly Adamchuk," she said.

His colleagues had said that Adamchuk was attacked by men outside the newspaper's office and was being treated for head trauma at a hospital just two days after a graphic video surfaced online showing the near-fatal beating of journalist Oleg Kashin outside a Moscow apartment building.

Kashin is a political correspondent for Kommersant, an independent business daily. Both he and Adamchuk had been investigating controversial government plans to build a road through pristine forests northwest of Moscow.

A statement on the regional police website, however, said that two suspects detained after Adamchuk's beating said the journalist had masterminded the incident.

Police said Adamchuk directed a theater troupe called Spinner and asked one of its members to plan the attack. That student enlisted the help of an acquaintance skilled in kick-boxing who punched Adamchuk in the mouth and eyes, police said.

The suspects said Adamchuk paid then 1,000 rubles (about $32) to carry out the attack, police said.

Adamchuk said no one has questioned him on whether the attack was staged, the Interfax news agancy reported.

The Zhukovskiye News is conducting its own investigation of the incident, said Znamenskoye.

"We will get to the bottom of this," she said.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 52 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992 in attacks directly related to their assignments, making it one of the world's most dangerous nations for reporters.