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Investigation into Russian journalist’s self-immolation will be handled at the regional level, Kremlin spokesman says

Source: Meduza

On Monday, October 5, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov offered his condolences to the family of deceased journalist Irina Slavina, who self-immolated outside of the local police headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod on October 2. At the same time, Peskov maintained that Slavina’s suicide isn’t a matter that requires Kremlin involvement. 

“Clearly this is such a tragic incident and, in fact, we’re very sorry for the family. We don’t have the details but call attention to the reaction of Governor [Gleb] Nikitin, who said that he will definitely sort out what happened. Therefore, there’s no reason to doubt that the governor will will sort out this situation and find out the reasons that could have been a pretext for [Irina Slavina’s] suicide,” Peskov said in conversation with journalists.

On Sunday, October 4, the Nizhny Novgorod Region’s Governor, Gleb Nikitin, offered his condolences in an Instagram post. “I’ve decided for myself that I simply can’t stay silent and not express my personal feelings about what happened. If only because I knew Irina personally,” he said, describing her as a “bright and caring person.” 

Nikitin promised to make spare no effort to “ensure that the investigation into the circumstances leading up to the tragedy is monitored at the very highest level.” “I’m sincerely grieving with those who cannot come to terms with Irina’s departure and the terrible kind of departure that she chose,” he added. 

Irina Slavina was a well-known journalist in Nizhny Novgorod and the editor-and-chief of Koza.Press, an online outlet covering politics and corruption in the region. On October 2, she wrote on Facebook: “For my death, please blame the Russian Federation.” Moments later, she set fire to herself outside of the local police headquarters. She died of her injuries on the scene.

The day before her suicide, Irina Slavin’s apartment was searched in connection with a criminal investigation into the activities of “undesirable organizations.” She was considered a witness in the case. According to friends and colleagues, Slavina faced constant pressure from the authorities over the past few years; she was also fined on multiple occasions for speaking out about sensitive topics on Facebook, as well as for her participation in public demonstrations and for various Koza.Press publications. 

On Saturday, October 3, the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights’ Commission for the Rights of Journalists called on the country’s Investigative Committee to investigate the circumstances that led to Slavina’s suicide. 

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