Prominent Russian environmentalist brutally beaten

A prominent Russian environmental group says its leader has been brutally beaten.

The Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus says Andrei Rudomakha was attacked on Thursday by three masked men in the southern city of Krasnodar. His deputy, Dmitry Shevchenko, says Rudomakha and several other activists had returned from a trip to the Black Sea where they were documenting the illegal construction of a luxury mansion.

Rudomakha has been taken to a hospital with multiple injuries including a fractured skull and broken nose.

Local authorities say they are investigating.

The Environmental Watch for years has exposed illegal landfills, the destruction of landscapes and the contamination of waterways in Russia's south. Some of their investigations have exposed land grabs by local officials.