November 13, 2012
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Sports writer finds photo on coffin lid

Russian sports journalist who wrote about the poor performance of a local women's football team complained to police after finding a coffin lid with his photograph on it, his newspaper said Monday.

Yury Matitsyn, a sports correspondent for the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper in the town of Ryazan, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Moscow, discovered the ornate casket lid by the mail boxes in his apartment building.

The newspaper's editor Alexei Frolov said he thought some of the "protagonists" of Matitsyn's stories had been angered by his criticism.

The coffin lid, which can be seen at , is covered in a velvety red fabric and is detailed with a traditional Orthodox cross and Matitsyn's portrait along with the message: "Love, Remember, Mourn".

Matitsyn complained to police that he saw the lid as a threat, Frolov said.

Novaya Gazeta listed several articles about the recent dismal performance of the local women's football team as ones that "could serve as a cause of the threat."

Russian journalists are frequently the targets of attacks, and several correspondents for Novaya Gazeta's Moscow edition have been murdered in recent years, most notably Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in her building in 2006.

The investigation into her death is ongoing.

Novaya Gazeta is published three times a week and is co-owned by banker Alexander Lebedev and the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It is openly critical of the Russian government.


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