updated 11/12/2010 8:21:28 AM ET 2010-11-12T13:21:28

The wife of a reporter whose beating last week sparked renewed concerns about media freedom in Russia says he has emerged from a drug-induced coma.

Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin was savagely attacked by two men near his Moscow home on Saturday. He was admitted to a hospital, where doctors put him to sleep to protect his brain. He also had a leg and several fingers broken in the attack.

Yevgeniya Milova, Kashin's wife, said on Facebook on Friday that he is awake, and he squeezed her hand, but he remains attached to a medical ventilator, unable to breathe of his own accord.

Kashin was the latest in a line of journalists and activists to be assaulted in Russia, which international media watchdogs rank among the world's most dangerous for reporters.

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