An expert on rightwing extremism was attacked in St. Petersburg
Valentina Uzunova, an ethnologist and expert on extremism and racist incitement in Russia, was attacked and beaten by an unknown person in St. Petersburg on June 19, 2007. 59-year-old Uzunova was hospitalized with a concussion.
Uzunova's purse, stolen by the attacker, reportedly contained documents and an expert examination on the case of Vladislav Nikolsky, who is accused of incitement of hatred. The attack took place a day before Uzunova was to speak at Nikolsky's trial on June 20, 2007.
Valentina Uzunova is the head of the Minority Rights Commission at the St. Petersburg Scientific Union. Nikolai Girenko, the former Minority Rights Commission head, was shot dead at the door of his St. Petersburg apartment on June 19, 2004. Girenko was called on as an expert in numerous court cases involving extremist groups. It is widely believed that he was murdered in retaliation for his work. In late May 2006, police arrested five persons in connection with a number of high profile racist assaults, including Girenko's murder.
Dmitry Dubrovsky, another member of the Minority Rights Commission, was attacked in St. Petersburg on November 15, 2006.