The day after the Russian Prosecutor General's Office declared Novaya Gazeta Europe an undesirable organization, NTV aired a story in which it was said that the newspaper's editor-in-chief Kirill Martynov was possibly involved in the attempted murder of a child in 2007:
“Artem Vtorygin was silent for a long 16 years, but now his testimony, despite the statute of limitations, was again needed by the investigators. He is one of the few who can shed light on the details of the so-called Novgorod case - in 2007, Antonina Fedorova, a resident of Veliky Novgorod, according to the security forces, threw her three-year-old daughter Alice from the stairwell. Fortunately, she survived. Artem Vtorygin was in the same entrance.
According to Artem, his friend Yegor Kudrov saw the very moment of pushing the child out. On the investigative experiment, he reproduced everything that happened. His phrase “the big girl threw off the little one” was included in the materials of the criminal case. The boys - they were both 11 years old at the time - waited for the police together and testified in the presence of their parents. Antonina was then detained, accused of attempted murder of her daughter, after some time she was sent to a pre-trial detention center. The investigator in the case stated that the girl simply could not fall by herself.
The case then received a huge response, since the future head of Novaya Gazeta became the new husband of the suspect. Europe” Kirill Martynov. Even then, he was an avid liberal and strong in PR. With his filing in defense of Antonina, a whole campaign began. Family photos and interviews of Martynov himself appeared in the press, who stated that his wife was simply not capable of such a thing. The jury found Antonina guilty in absentia, at the same time the prosecutor hinted that the woman decided to dump her daughter for the sake of her new husband, who, apparently, did not really want to live with someone else's child.
However, against the backdrop of a huge outcry, the investigators even had to release Antonina from the pre-trial detention center, allegedly for her daughter's birthday. No one else saw her or the child.
Now the Ministry of Internal Affairs is again considering the version that it was Martynov who was involved in the attempted murder, that he was almost the main inspirer of the crime. As a result, they are still looking for Antonina and her daughter - Alice should already be 18. Martynov left the country last year. Now he lives in Latvia.
The operatives are confused by the main oddities in this case, although this is closer to conspiracy theory: as soon as the checks on the Novgorod case resumed, the only direct witness, Yegor Kudrov, suddenly died of a drug overdose.
The circumstances of the high-profile attempted murder case were distorted beyond recognition by NTV. In reality, on February 26, 2007, a girl who was not even three years old fell down a flight of stairs from the third floor. According to Antonina, she did not keep track of her daughter, she ran out of the apartment and climbed through the bars of the fence. Seeing this, Antonina rushed to the stairwell to hold her back, but did not have time. The girl fell and received a broken jaw and a concussion.
Indeed, the witness of the fall was 11-year-old Egor Kudrov, who testified, but during the course of the investigation he changed them significantly: either he claimed that Antonina had slipped Alice between the upper horizontal bars of the fence, or he stated that the girl had been pushed between the vertical bars below. Along with his testimony, the version of the investigation also changed. The question of the reliability of the testimony of such a witness is not easy, but the investigation from the very beginning adhered to the version of attempted murder.
Numerous articles appeared in the Russian press written from the point of view of the prosecution; one of them claimed that the experts proved that the gap between the bars was too narrow for the girl to fit through. One of Martynov's friends photographed his daughter, who is older and larger than Alice, at the scene; it is obvious from the photo that a child could easily crawl between the bars, but it is almost impossible to push him through if he resists. Antonina underwent an independent polygraph test, which showed that she was telling the truth, but the investigation was not convinced by all this.
The story of Antonina's arrest, release and disappearance told by NTV looks completely absurd: the jury found her guilty (for some reason in absentia), after which she was released from the pre-trial detention center due to public outcry on the birthday of her daughter, in the attempted murder of which she was accused, and she immediately fled with her daughter. In fact, Antonina was arrested in April 2007, and less than a month later, the measure of restraint was changed to a written undertaking not to leave. For the holiday of Alice, who was born in July, this cannot be related.
The guilty verdict of the jury was delivered only in July of the following year, 2008. Antonina was present in court, but then the next meeting had to be postponed for one day due to her illness. The next day, she did not come to court, her preventive measure was changed to arrest, and subsequently put on the federal wanted list. The verdict was never delivered. Where Antonina and Alice are has not been known since then.
No one seriously considered the version of Martynov's involvement in the alleged assassination until the newspaper he heads was declared an undesirable organization.