Maria Runova of the Mir Novostei newspaper was attacked at 11.30 a.m. [8.30 GMT] Saturday when about 1,500-2,000 radical nationalists were only gathering for a demonstration in southwest Moscow to mark the country's new holiday, National Unity Day. Moscow city authorities had banned the meeting to prevent a repeat of last year's scenes when radical right-wingers carried racist slogans and made Nazi salutes in central Moscow.
"She was apparently hit several times in the face," prosecutors said, adding that police have detained a Ukrainian citizen, 46, suspected of committing the attack.
A police source also said that more then 200 were arrested when demonstrators were moving toward the meeting venue on November 4, which the Kremlin made into a national holiday last year.
The ultra-nationalists first said they would meet in the Moscow subway but then decided to join a sanctioned demonstration of the People's Will right-wing party at midday.
A total of 6,500 riot police wearing bullet-proof jackets and helmets and armed with batons ensured public order in the city, and particularly at the site of the demonstration near Park Kultury subway station in the southwest of the capital.
Legislator Dmitry Rogozin, who was removed in March as leader of the center-left Rodina (Motherland) party after an openly racist election campaign last December, said police had detained about 300 people, and complained about the ban of Moscow authorities.
"It is no longer a 'Russian March' but some sort of compilation," he said.
His colleague in the lower house of parliament and an organizer of the meeting, Irina Savelyeva, said the detentions of young demonstrators were illegal. "They did not disrupt public order or cause any provocations," she said.
Police also said one man might be facing criminal charges for resisting police when they tried to detain him.
The www.newsru.com Web site said a crew from the REN-TV television channel and a journalist from www.gazeta.ru had also been detained before the meeting but then released.
In St. Petersburg, that has acquired a reputation as a racist hotbed after a string of brutal race-hate murders in the past two years, police had to use tear gas to stop a fight between ultra-nationalists and leftist demonstrators.
National Unity Day was introduced to replace the communist holiday of November 7 celebrating the Bolshevik Revolution.