Moscow police open criminal inquiry into Yegor Zhukov beating, anti-Kremlin blogger left bloodied

Moscow police said on Monday they have begun a criminal investigation into the beating of opposition activist and political blogger Yegor Zhukov, longtime foe of the Kremlin. An image of Zhukov bloodied and beaten outside his home circulated on social media this weekend.

Fellow Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny remains in a medically induced coma in a German hospital after being poisoned, reports Reuters:

The 22-year-old student, who was a leading figure in large anti-government protests last year, was taken to hospital late on Sunday after being assaulted by two people outside his apartment in western Moscow, his allies said on social media. (…) He was among more than 1,000 people detained in Moscow in July 2019 in one of the biggest crackdowns on anti-Kremlin demonstrators in recent years. He and other protesters had taken to the streets to call for free elections.

A Russian court last year found him guilty of inciting extremism on his YouTube channel and banned him from using the Internet for two years, a move he decried as politically motivated.

The Moscow police force said it was seeking to identify and detain Zhukov's assailants, who his allies said had fled the scene of the attack on scooters. If convicted of assault, Zhukov's attackers could face up to two years in jail.