Russian journalist burns herself to death in protest outside police station

A Russian journalist has burned to death after she set herself on fire during an apparent protest outside a police headquarters.

Irina Slavina, the editor of KozaPress, died at the scene in front of an interior ministry office in Nizhniy Novgorod, according to local reports.

She left a note before her apparent suicide on Facebook.

She wrote: “I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death.”

Authorities reportedly confirmed her body had been found with severe burns.

Footage has since emerged apparently showing the moment she set herself on fire on a bench in Gorky Street, where the interior ministry in Nizhny Novgorod is situated.

In the harrowing clip a man can be seen sprinting towards a woman to put out the flames.

She pushes him away as he tries to dampen the flames with his coat as she stands up and waves her alight arms.

In the video, which has not been verified, the woman can be seen eventually falling to the ground.

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Koza Press, is a small local news outlet that advertises itself as having “no censorship” and “no orders ‘from above’”.

The day before she set herself alight, she claimed local security forces raided her home for evidence of involvement with Russian opposition.

Writing on social media, she wrote: “They were looking for brochures, leaflets, invoices of [pro-democracy movement] Open Russia, possibly an icon with the face of [exiled oligarch] Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

“I don’t have any of this, but they took away what they found — all the flash drives, my laptop, my daughter's laptop, the computer, phones — not just mine, but also my husband’s — a bunch of my notebooks that I scribbled on during press conferences. I'm left without the means of production."

Police reportedly confirmed they were investigating the death but did not comment on Slavina’s identity.

But Pavel Chikov, head of international human rights group Agora, said that he had previously worked with the journalist after authorities opened a case against her for spreading “fake news”.

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