Attack on Russian Journalist Stirs Online Allies

Two years ago, Oleg Kashin was sitting in a sleek little coffee shop around the corner from the Kremlin when a novelist walked in and punched him in the face.The fight had begun online, during an exchange that included such phrases as “a legless bum that crawled out of the sewer” and “unprincipled prostitute” and “primitively smash you in the mug.” The novelist was in the process of doing just that when he realized several things about his adversary. First, despite his shock-jock online persona, Mr. Kashin was not a fighter. Second, he was not afraid.”I began to look more attentively at him,” said the novelist, Eduard I. Bagirov. “I think that if you hit him in the face it won’t scare him, he does not care.”

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