Home Scandal and Gossip Russian journalist self-immolates outside government building after morning apartment raid

Russian journalist self-immolates outside government building after morning apartment raid

Irina Slavina fire
Irina Slavina Russian journalist sets self on fire.
Irina Slavina fire
Irina Slavina Russian journalist sets self on fire. Pictured, Koza Press editor who self immolated in front of a government building in Nizhny Novgorod.

Irina Slavina sets self on fire: Russian journalist self-immolation following raid of Koza Press editor in chief’s apartment seeking pro democracy material. Commits suicide in front of Nizhny Novgorod government building. 

A Russian journalist has died after setting herself on fire in protest to what supporters decried as ongoing persecution by government agencies.

Irina Slavina, editor-in-chief of the small independent media outlet Koza Press, burned herself alive outside a government building Friday — writing on Facebook an hour prior to  her suicide, ‘Blame the Russian Federation for my death.’

Irina Slavina’s self-immolation according to local media took place in front of the local branch of the interior ministry in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, about 260 miles east of Moscow.

A video posted on social media reportedly showed her setting herself on fire on a bench NDTV reports.

Slavina’s website carried out investigative reporting and covered opposition to President Vladimir Putin, her friends and supporters said Friday, a rarity in regional journalism which faces pressure from local authorities.

Irina Slavina self immolation
Irina Slavina self immolation. Pictured Russian journalist who set self on fire. Image via Facebook.

Independent editor fought for free press devoid of censorship

About an hour before her suicide death, Slavina posted a foreboding message on Facebook directing followers to blame the Russian Federation. A day before, she wrote that police raided her apartment in search of pro-democracy materials.

The site became inaccessible shortly afterwards Slavina’s death.

Slavina, who ran a press shop that billed itself as having ‘no censorship’ and ‘no orders ‘from above,’’ said she was being probed for ties to the Open Russia opposition group, which is financed by open critic of the Kremlin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

During the raid, cops swarmed her apartment, seeking ‘brochures, leaflets and accounts’ tied to the group. Operatives left with her notebooks, laptop and phones, as well as her daughter’s laptop and her husband’s phones, Slavina posted on Facebook Thursday.

‘I’m left without the means of production,’ she wrote.

It remained unclear if the journalist faced imminent censoring or criminal charges or arrest.

Russia’s Investigative Committee confirmed it was opening an investigation into a self-immolation, while declining to confirm the identity of the ‘subject’ in a released statement the nypost reports.

Russian journalist self immolation
Russian journalist self immolation. Image via Facebook.

‘They absolutely drove her to suicide’. 

The committee’s local branch in the Nizhny Novgorod region later said Slavina’s self-immolation had nothing to do with the searches carried out at her apartment on the previous day.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is recovering in Berlin after being poisoned in Russia with what German doctors said was military-grade nerve agent, described Slavina’s death as ‘terrible’.

‘A criminal case was fabricated against Slavina under a political charge. Yesterday, her home was searched, doors were cut out and computers confiscated,’ he posted on social media.

‘They absolutely drove her to suicide’. 

Supporters of the Russian opposition movement have since taken to social media, claiming Slavina had been under significant pressure from authorities for years.

‘Over the past years security officials have subjected her to endless persecution because of her opposition (activities),’ Dmitry Gudkov, an opposition politician, posted on Instagram.

‘What a nightmare,’ another Kremlin critic, Ilya Yashin, wrote on Twitter.

‘All of these cases of police amusing themselves, these shows of men in masks — these are not games. The government is truly breaking people psychologically,’ she added.