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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 423
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Two Critical Ukrainian Journalists and One Former MP Killed in Kiev in Two Days
5 years
Oles Buzina Shot Dead in Kiev
OSCE Witnesses "Intense and Protracted Fighting," Ceasefire Violations, And A Growing Humanitarian Crisis

As we reported earlier today, Oles Buzyna, a prominent journalist in Ukraine, has been found murdered at his home in Kiev. Last night another journalist, Sergei Sukhobok, was also killed. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, has released a statement on the killings of Buzyna and Sukhobok:

“This appalling act is yet another reminder about the dangers associated with journalism as a profession. This killing must be immediately and fully investigated by the competent authorities,” Mijatović said. “My sincere condolences go out to Buzina’s family and colleagues.”

According to reports, on 16 April, Buzina was shot and killed by assailants close to his home in Kyiv. He was known for his critical views.

“I reiterate my call on the authorities to allocate all necessary resources to investigate all attacks on journalists,” Mijatović said. “There must be no impunity for the perpetrators and the masterminds behind any violence against members of the media.”

Mijatović also noted with regret reports about another recent killing of a journalist in Ukraine. Sergei Sukhobok, co-founder of several online news portals and contributor to several Ukrainian media outlets, was killed on 13 April in Kyiv. The killing is being investigated by the authorities.

The two journalists were not the only apparent assassination in the last day. Last night, Oleh Kalashnikov, a former member of parliament for the Party of Regions, the party of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, was also killed. Business Insider reports:

An interior ministry adviser to President Petro Poroshenko linked the deaths since both victims played a part in the "Anti-Maidan" movement, which opposed pro-Western protests that ousted Yanukovich in 2014.

"It seems the shooting of witnesses of the Anti-Maidan affair continues," the adviser, Anton Gerashchenko, said in a Facebook post.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised call-in show, referred specifically to Buzina's death saying it had been politically motivated.

"This is not the first political assassination. Ukraine is dealing with a whole string of such murders," Putin said during his annual call-in in Moscow, when asked about the killing.

Putin, here, may be referring to a string of suspected suicides of former Yanukovych officials. At least 6 former Yanukovych officials died in the first three months of 2015, a story which has been examined by RFE/RL.

Both journalists and the former MP were often critical of the post-Euromaidan Ukrainian government. NPR reports:

Oles Buzyna, 45, had recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Sevodnya. Ukraine's interior ministry said in a statement that he was killed Thursday afternoon by two masked gunmen shooting from a passing car, according to The Associated Press.

Buzyna was largely perceived as more of an activist than a journalist, the news service says. He ran for a seat in Ukraine's parliament on the Russian Bloc ticket but was not elected.

His killing comes one day after Oleh Kalashnikov, a former member of parliament loyal to ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych was found dead with a gunshot wound at his home in Kiev. Police have not said whether they believe Kalashnikov was murdered or committed suicide.

Kyiv Post reports that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has condemned the killings and has called for an investigation into the murders of Buzynaand Kalashnikov:

"These crimes are obviously events of the same sort. Their nature and political sense are clear: this is deliberate provocation that brings grist to our enemy's mill. It is aimed at destabilizing the internal political situation in Ukraine and discrediting the Ukrainian people's political choice," Poroshenko said.

-- James Miller