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Media Executive Attacked in Russia

December 1, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ The head of an independent television and radio network in Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad was beaten by assailants with metal rods and hospitalized with head injuries, a human rights group reported Wednesday.

The unidentified attackers ambushed Igor Rostov, director of the Kaskad media company, outside his garage Monday, the Moscow-based Glasnost Defense Fund said in a statement.

Rostov suffered a concussion and heavy bleeding, and doctors said his condition was serious, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Kaskad, which operates two television stations, two radio stations and a newspaper in Kaliningrad, has been critical of local administration officials, accusing them of mishandling budget funds and violating rules on Kaliningrad’s status as a free-trade zone within Russia.

Rostov’s colleagues accused the administration of being behind the attack, claiming he had received threats from local officials, the Glasnost Defense Fund said. Lawmakers in Kaliningrad suggested the assault was linked to the campaign for Dec. 19 parliamentary elections.

Alexander Orlov, President Boris Yeltsin’s representative in Kaliningrad, expressed dismay over the attack and called for a high-level investigation, according to ITAR-Tass.

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