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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 17 November 2017 > And the Beating Goes On

And the Beating Goes On

Putin’s acolytes are determined to destroy Russia’s ‘malign tumors,’ with fists, if necessary



FROM RUSSIA WITH BLOOD Skripnichenko, left, who later died in the hospital, in front of the makeshift memorial. Opposition activists, right, during a rally. As Putin seeks re-election, Russia has seen a surge in political violence against his critics.

IVAN SKRIPNICHENKO, A 35-year-old Russian opposition activist, was standing guard at a memorial to a slain foe of the Kremlin when a man in army surplus clothing approached. “Don’t you love Putin?” he asked, then knocked Skripnichenko down with a punch to the face.

Eight days later, Skripnichenko was dead. “It was a powerful and professional blow,” Marina Lebedeva, an anti-government activist who says she witnessed the August 15 attack in central Moscow, tells Newsweek. The assailant also kicked Skripnichenko as he lay on the ground next to the flower-strewn memorial for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was shot dead at the exact same spot near Red Square by Chechen gunmen in 2015. Authorities have refused to give permission for the memorial, so opposition activists have been guarding it since Nemtsov’s death.

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POP GO THE WEASELS After centuries of indifference to or even tacit (and sometimes open) sanctioning of sexual harassment abuse or even assault, we are suddenly in the midst of a cock conflagration. Powerful men in Hollywood, politics, journalism and many other professions are being pilloried, sacked or jailed for piggish or even criminal behavior toward women. Now the monsters are finally facing their day of reckoning.