Independent North Caucasian media outlet, Caucasian Knot, has reported that a group of masked people attempted to break into the home of one of their journalists. The attempt reportedly followed an earlier police search of the journalist’s flat.
According to Caucasian Knot, the masked group followed the wife of journalist Vyacheslav Yashchenko into the entrance of Yashchenko’s apartment building. Yashchenko was not in the flat at the time.
They repeatedly rang the doorbell, claiming initially that they were neighbours, and then war veterans, while covering the door’s peephole with their hands, with Caucasian Knot citing a video recorded by Yashchenko’s wife. After demanding that Yashchenko exit the flat, the group switched off lights on the floor and began kicking the door.
After neighbours emerged, attempting to turn on the lights and shouting for someone to call the police, the group entered the building’s lift and left.
Caucasian Knot claims that this followed an 18 January search of the journalist’s apartment, during which a phone, laptop, and storage devices were seized. The search allegedly related to the case of Evgeniy Kochegin, a former coordinator for who is accused of spreading false information about the Russian army.
Yashchenko claims that after his phone was returned, he received a large number of spam calls and messages relating to microloans, which he described as being intended as ‘revenge’, with a second series of messages coming in after he attended the court session of a pensioner found guilty of discreditng the army.
‘I don’t know whether those who are taking revenge want to take advantage of my position and get rich at my expense, or if [they’re] just exerting pressure through these spam attacks’, Yashenko told Caucasian Knot. ‘My SIM card is being used to obtain a large number of microloans, this information needs to be heard in court.’
Yashchenko’s lawyer said they plan to file a complaint in court for ‘unauthorised use and disclosure of personal data’.
‘In the complaint we will definitely indicate the fact of leakage of personal information. My SIM card is used to obtain a large number of microloans, this information needs to be heard in court’, said Yashchenko.
However, Yashchenko’s lawyer noted that he could not yet connect the calls to Yashchenko’s phone with the search and confiscation of his client’s phone.