The editor of Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta has said that staff will get arms training as well as weapons to protect themselves against attack.

Six of the paper's journalists, including prominent reporter Anna Politkovskaya, have been killed during their work for the publication, which uncovers corruption and is highly critical of the Kremlin.

This week, the journalist with Ekho Moskvy, Tatiana Felgenhauer, was stabbed in the neck at the radio station's offices. Boris Grits, 48, has been charged with her attempted murder.

It was on that station's programme that the paper's editor Dmitry Muratov said he had "no other choice".

He said that the paper would arm journalists with "traumatic weapons", which are pistols that fire rubber bullets.

After the comments, weapons maker Kalashnikov Concern said it would give a 10% discount to journalists on its MP-80-13Тtraumatic pistol, which fires .45 rubber bullets, the Times reported.

"I will arm the newsroom...We will also equip journalists with other security measures that I don't want to talk about," Muratov told Ekho Moskvy.

One journalist from the paper, Pavel Kanygin told AFP that he was prepared to use non-lethal weapons to defend himself, saying: "I don't see anything bad in our situation...This too is defence."

There has been a rise in violence against dissenters in Russia which could spike even further leading up to the country's presidential election in 2018 which Vladimir Putin is expected to run and win comfortably.

Novaya Gazyeta's deputy editor Sergei Sokolov said that he did not believe the state was prepared to protect his journalists.

"When journalists find themselves helpless in the face of lawlessness in the streets and indiscipline of law enforcement agencies, there is no other way."

The paper is co-owned by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Alexander Lebedev, whose son Evgeny runs the London Evening Standard and The Independent. Most recently it uncovered the persecution of gay men in Chechnya by officials.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said extra security was not needed for journalists and the attack on the Ekho Moskvy journalist was because she was the "target of a madman".