MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian newspaper that has exposed official corruption and human rights abuses urged Moscow city authorities on Tuesday to investigate what it said was an attack on its offices with a chemical substance.
Novaya Gazeta, whose reporters have been subjected to numerous attacks since it was founded after the Soviet Union collapsed, reported a foul chemical smell at its Moscow editorial offices on Monday, which it described as a deliberate attack. No one was reported hurt..
Emergency service sources cited by Russian news agencies said nothing dangerous had been detected and that the smell appeared to have come from a basement sewer.
But on Tuesday, Novaya Gazeta circulated a video published on social media that it said showed a hooded figure dressed as a Moscow food courier pausing by its office with a bicycle and spraying a substance for several seconds before walking off.
Reuters could not independently verify the video’s authenticity.
Novaya Gazeta proposed conducting a joint investigation with the Moscow government.
“This can’t be left like this. It’s a threat to Muscovites,” the newspaper said in a statement on its website.
One of the newspaper’s journalists, Anna Politkovskaya, was shot dead in Moscow in 2006 after exposing abuses in a war in the southern Russian region of Chechnya.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)