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Someone sent a severed goat’s head and a threatening note to a Russian independent newspaper

Meduza

Someone wants to scare the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. On October 18, a basket appeared outside the paper’s newsroom. Inside was a severed goat’s head and a note reading, “To Novaya Gazeta’s chief editor. Greetings to you and Korotkov!” A day earlier, a funeral wreath was delivered to the office, attached to a note that said, “Denis Korotkov is a traitor to the Motherland.”

Novaya Gazeta says there’s a defamation campaign against Korotkov underway that claims the journalist endangered soldiers’ families by publishing the personal information of Russian pilots currently serving in Syria.

The newspaper rejects allegations that it exposed Russian pilots’ personal information, and has filed a police report in response to the threats against Korotkov. “We have only two weapons: publicity (which is why we continue to do our jobs) and the law. The police are required to do everything they can to give us the protection of the law,” the newspaper argued in an editorial on Thursday.

Denis Korotkov is known for his reports about Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria. He’s also written about vulnerabilities in the Defense Ministry's website, which he exploited to gain access to the personal data of Roman Filippov, a Russian pilot killed in action in Syria. All these reports appeared on the news website Fontanka, where Korotkov worked until this summer. He later joined the staff at Novaya Gazeta.