The editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and critic of the Kremlin was attacked with red paint mixed with acetone on April 7.
The US intelligence community believes the Russian government was behind a chemical attack on a prominent critic of the Kremlin and Nobel Peace Prize Winner in April, according to multiple reports in the US media.
Dmitry Muratov, editor of the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, said he was attacked while traveling on a train from Moscow to Samara in April and was splashed with red paint containing acetone.
He said the attacker told him “this is for you from our guys.”
Muratov at the time published photographs of his face, chest, and hands covered in red oil paint, which he said severely burned his eyes from the acetone.
❗️неизвестный напал на главреда «новой газеты» лрреаата н нock. pic.twitter.com/xrhR62zJts
— Новая газета. Европа (@novayagazeta_eu) April 7, 2022
On Thursday, a US official told reporters that Washington “can confirm that Russian intelligence orchestrated the April 7 attack on Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, in which he was splashed with red paint containing acetone.” , according to the Washington Post.
The official did not elaborate on how the determination was made.
Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for his work at Novaya Gazeta, known for its investigations into Russian corruption and human rights abuses. Six of his collaborators have been killed since the 1990s.
During his acceptance speech, Muratov presciently warned of the potential for war in Ukraine, as Russia at the time continued to build up troops on the border.
“In [the] heads of some crazy geopoliticians, a war between Russia and Ukraine is no longer something impossible,” he said.
At that time, the Kremlin praised Muratov, calling him a “talented” and “brave” journalist.
In March, Muratov announced that he would donate his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.
Shortly after, the newspaper Announced that it was suspending its print and online activities until the end of what Russia calls its “special operation” in Ukraine.