Moscow Newspaper Says It Was Targeted In 'Chemical Attack'

The independent Russian investigative newspaper Novaya gazeta says it believes the entrance to the building in Moscow that houses its offices has been targeted in a "chemical attack."

The periodical, which shares the premises with several other companies, said on March 15 that there was a strong chemical odor in the building detected by all employees and visitors to the newspaper's offices.

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Officials and teams from the Emergency Situations Ministry, Interior Ministry, and the Federal Security Service are at the site and working to find the source of the smell, the newspaper said. So far, there has been no official confirmation of any chemical substance in the building.

Novaya gazeta's staff members say that the odor is very similar to one that was present when the home and car of correspondent Yulia Latynina was sprinkled with an unknown chemical in 2017.

That same year, the newspaper received a letter with an unknown white powder inside, which later was shown to be harmless.

In October 2018, unknown people brought three cages with sheep wearing vests with the inscription PRESS on them. Several days before that, unknown individuals threw a funeral wreath in front of the publication’s building with notes threatening Denis Korotkov, a correspondent for the newspaper. Days later, a sheep's head was found near the office with a note threatening all reporters at Novaya gazeta.

Six of the publication's journalists, including well-known reporters Yury Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, and Anastasia Baburova, have been killed since 2001.

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