Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 33

Editor of Independent Newspaper Attacked in Kabardino-Balkaria

On September 2, Miloslav Bitokov, chief editor of the newspaper Gazeta Yuga (Newspaper of the South) in Kabardino-Balkaria, was beaten by unidentified assailants in the republic’s capital, Nalchik. The newspaper’s deputy editor, Zarem Khadrtsev, said the incident took place as Bitokov was returning home from work with his son Artur, who also works for the newspaper. Artur went to park their car and as he was returning, saw three young men run out of the apartment building and found his father on the floor of the entranceway, covered in blood. He suffered a broken nose and cheekbone, a concussion and a cut lip. The Moscow Times on September 4 quoted colleagues of Bitkov at Gazeta Yuga as saying that he had been threatened previously for publishing articles critical of local authorities. According to Kavkazky Uzel, Gazeta Yuga has never received funding from the government or from foundations or other institutions, surviving off of sales of newspapers and advertisements, and has been the republic’s most popular newspaper over the past six years thanks to its image of objectivity and political independence.