A regional outpost of Russia’s Kommersant business newspaper received a written death threat in an attack on its Yekaterinburg office over the weekend, police said.
The motive behind the break-in was not immediately clear, Sergei Plakhotin, general director of the Kommersant-Ural publishing house, told the local e1.ru news website. The outlet speculated that the attack may be linked to the publishing house’s publication last fall of a book about the local criminal underworld in the 1990s.
Yekaterinburg police confirmed that the Kommersant-Ural publishing house’s office was burglarized — with two hard drives stolen — sometime between Friday and Monday, but said there were no signs of forced entry.
“You’ll die, fleabag,” read a note left on Plakhotin’s desk.
Footage filmed after the attack shows computers and notes scattered on the office floor, as well as monitors and other items lying upside down.
The attack comes two weeks after the firing of a Kommersant writer for what she said was her critical coverage of city authorities in St. Petersburg. The head of the Kommersant publishing house said writer Maria Karpenko was dismissed for working at a second media outlet, referring to a Telegram messaging app channel she co-runs.