Local bureaucrat who body-slammed a journalist says the reporter committed Russia's felony offense of insulting a state official
The head of the Shirinsky District in Khakassia, who attacked an interviewer earlier this month, has filed a police report against the television film crew that came to his office. Sergey Zaitsev accuses the reporters of the felony offense of publicly insulting a state official. According to the TV station 360, the district political council of the party United Russia met on May 28 and endorsed Zaitsev’s complaint.
In a segment that aired on May 25 on the state-owned Rossiya-24 network, correspondent Ivan Litomin interviewed Zaitsev about the poor housing conditions in the Shirinsky District. At one point in the exchange, Zaitsev suddenly loses his temper, tries to grab the microphone out from Litomin’s hands, and then slams the reporter into the floor.
Following the attack, police investigators charged Zaitsev with the felony offense of interfering with a journalist’s professional work, and United Russia officials expelled Zaitsev from the party (the Shirinsky District political council wants this decision to be reviewed). Zaitsev claims that he didn’t attack Litomin, arguing that the journalist fell over on his own, while Zaitsev was pushing him from his office.