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(Compass) – A brutal attack on a Christian book publisher in Ukraine has underscored the high stakes struggle over human rights and religious liberty in the former Soviet republic. On December 2, two unidentified men assaulted Stanislav Kasprov, director of the Smirna publishing house, outside company offices in Cherkassy . They beat Kasprov with a ball bat, leaving him bloodied and barely conscious. Although the attackers remain at large and their motives are unknown, evidence suggests that former operatives of the now defunct KGB may have perpetrated the assault to dissuade Kasprov from supporting democratic reform. “Stanislav is not a timid person,” a friend told Compass. “Whenever he is invited to speak, he clearly tells the Christian people that it’s up to them what kind of regime they will get.”