Russian opposition journalist smeared as ‘Jewish Pig’ for critical coverage

Alexei Venediktov, the Jewish editor of the “Echo of Moscow” radio station in Moscow, joined the row of opposition journalists who have dealt with vandalism as a result of their war coverage.

 PROTESTERS CONDEMN the Russian invasion of Ukraine at a demonstration in Tel Aviv on Sunday. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
PROTESTERS CONDEMN the Russian invasion of Ukraine at a demonstration in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Prominent Russian opposition journalist Alexei Venediktov found a pig’s head and a Ukraine coat of arms sticker with the phrase “Judensau” – a German-language slur meaning “Jewish Pig” – emblazoned across the Ukrainian logo outside his Moscow apartment on Thursday, The Moscow Times reports.

Venediktov, who is Jewish, is the editor of the now-banned Echo of Moscow radio station in Moscow. Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media pulled the Echo of Moscow off the air on March 1, 2022 and permanently closed the station down two days later for critically covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which Russia itself refuses to call an invasion, rather opting for the term “special military operation.”

“Why not just fix a six-pointed star to my door?” Venediktov stated on his Telegram channel, adding that he was shocked such an antisemitic provocation could occur in the “country that defeated fascism.”

Judensau began as 13th-Century Christian folk art that depicted Jews in obscene contact with pigs, which are notoriously non-Kosher animals.

A thirteenth century anti-Semitic sculpture is displayed at St. Marien church in Wittenberg, Germany, January 24, 2020. A court is expected to rule on a motion seeking the removal of the 700-year-old sculpture known as “Judensau” or Jew pig. It is one of around 20 such relics from the Middle Ages th (credit: ANNEGRET HILSE / REUTERS)A thirteenth century anti-Semitic sculpture is displayed at St. Marien church in Wittenberg, Germany, January 24, 2020. A court is expected to rule on a motion seeking the removal of the 700-year-old sculpture known as “Judensau” or Jew pig. It is one of around 20 such relics from the Middle Ages th (credit: ANNEGRET HILSE / REUTERS)

As Russia advances its censorship of media amid the Russian-Ukrainian war that began in late February, other prominent opposition journalists have been targeted by vandals. On Friday in Saint Petersburg, Daria Heikenen from the opposition “Mayak Movement” and Kristina Vorotnikova, who worked with jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, both awoke to vandalism outside of their domiciles. Heikenen had human waste pushed under her door and “Danger! A traitor to the homeland lives here!” scribbled across her front door, while Vorotnikova was labeled a “traitor” by the vandals, who also smeared feces on her door.

“Taking into account that these 'surprises' have happened to other activists – it wasn’t exactly unexpected,” Heikenen told The Moscow Times. “At the beginning of March, a criminal case was fabricated against me because of my anti-war position, so we were expecting attacks to continue,” she said in a phone interview with The Moscow Times. “So I can't say that I was very surprised or scared. And in general, manure at your front door is not very scary at all.”