Violence against Russia’s web dissidents raises fresh fears for internet freedoms

When Aleksandr Markov heard the doorbell of his St Petersburg apartment earlier this year, he rushed to welcome his guest. But instead of the friend he had been expecting, Markov was surprised to see several strangers on his doorstep.

Then came the blow.

“I was hit in the eye,” he said. “I found myself in the staircase. Someone pushed me from behind and I fell over. They started kicking me.”