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Local Activist Sees Conspiracy in Attack

I believe that I was beaten out of revenge and to intimidate me so that I would cease my activities.

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)



  • The Meltser F. & Co factory on the Karpovka River before it was demolished to make way for an apartment building..
    Photo: google maps

  • Preservatonist Alexei Yarema.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

An architectural preservationist who was badly beaten last week by two men has said the attack may be linked with his activism.

Alexei Yarema, the founder of the preservationist group Ecology of Ordinary Architecture, or ERA, was attacked in his doorway on Vasilyevsky Ostrov on Apr. 16, the organization reported on its website two days later.

Speaking to The St. Petersburg Times on Apr. 21, Yarema said that two men were waiting for him near his doorway when he returned home on the evening of the attack.

In the attack, which he described as being professional, Yarema sustained a concussion and multiple bruises, and an injury to his leg. Doctors have suggested that he was punched in the head and then kicked repeatedly as he lay unconscious on the ground.

I am still in bed. I cant get up because my leg fails me and I have pain in a kidney, he said. I think Ill stay in bed for another week, at least.

Yarema was hospitalized when he was found unconscious by his neighbors several minutes after the attack, but left the hospital due to a lack of medical attention there.

We called an ambulance on Apr. 18 and a neighborhood doctor from a local polyclinic arrived. They prescribed some pills and ointments, he said.

The emergency services said they would send a neurologist to see me but I dont think there is a pressing need for this anymore. For the first three days, my head was the worst because of the concussion. Since then, that has got a little better, but the rest has gotten worse.

Two men were involved in the attack on Apr. 16.

There is an electromagnetic lock on the doorway, he said.

When I approached it, there were two men waiting in the archway of my house. As soon as they spotted me they emerged from the arch because my entrance is from the front of the building rather than through the courtyard, said Yarema.

When I opened the door, I saw that one of them was clearly heading toward me and shut the door in his face. Some people were leaving the building at around the same time and when they opened the door he sneaked in. The elevator was out of order and he caught up with me on the fourth floor. He attacked me without saying a single word.

Yarema believes that the attack was most likely linked to his preservationist activity.

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