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Prominent journalist Yulia Latynina has fled Russia after her car was set on fire

Prominent journalist Yulia Latynina announced on the radio station Ekho Moskvy this Saturday that she has fled Russia, after unknown assailants reportedly set fire to her car. Latynina made the announcement on air in a Skype call to Ekho Moskvy. “It’s unlikely that I’ll return to Russia anytime soon,” she said.

“I'm scared that the people who did this [the arsonists] were prepared for a loss of life, because it could have caught fire when someone was behind the wheel. [...] I don't know if the arsonists knew this, but only my parents were home at the time. [...] And what's scary is that the car was parked next to [our] wooden house, and my 79-year-old father rushed to put it out, and the gas tank could have exploded, and the only reason it didn't was because it wasn't full. If he hadn't put out the fire, it would have burned down the house because the flames were already four meters [13 feet] high. So what scares me is that the people who set this fire understood that the result could have been corpses, and they didn't care.”

Yulia Latynina

On September 3, Yulia Latynina, a long-time columnist at Novaya Gazeta and radio show host at Ekho Moskvy, reported that her car suddenly caught fire. She attributes the incident to unknown arsonists. Unidentified assailants also attacked her at her home in mid-July.

On September 4, Russia's Journalists' Union released a statement supporting Latynina's claim, saying that the attack “was no mere act of hooliganism or intimidation.” The organization also promised to file formal reports with Russia's Investigative Committee and Attorney General.

In August 2016, activists apparently from the far-right “SERB” movement attacked Latynina outside Ekho Moskvy's studio, splashing feces on her. Police never identified the assailants.

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