Pro-Rus­sian jour­nal­ist gunned down in Ukraine

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A Ukrainian jour­nal­ist known for his pro-Rus­sian views was gunned down in broad day­light in Kiev a day af­ter a pro-Rus­sian law­maker was found dead, lo­cal po­lice said Thurs­day.

Oles Buzyna, 45, who worked as edi­tor-in-chief of a lead­ing daily un­til March, was killed early Thurs­day af­ter­noon by two masked men shoot­ing from a pass­ing car, the Ukrainian in­te­rior min­istry said in a state­ment.

Buzyna, who ran for a seat in par­lia­ment on the Rus­sian Bloc ticket in 2012 and was known for his pro-Rus­sian views, was largely per­ceived as more of an ac­tivist than a jour­nal­ist. He had a three­month stint as the edi­tor-in-chief of Se­god­nya, a news­pa­per owned by Ukraine’s Rus­sia-lean­ing rich­est man, be­fore he re­signed in March cit­ing pres­sure for cen­sor­ship.

The killing is par­tic­u­larly omi­nous fol­low­ing an­other high-pro­file mur­der on Wed­nes­day. Oleh Kalash­nikov, a law­maker from ex- Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych’s party, was found dead on the land­ing of his home in Kiev with a gun­shot wound. Po­lice would not im­me­di­ately say whether he was mur­dered or killed him­self.

An­ton Herashchenko, an ad­viser to the in­te­rior min­is­ter, said in a Face­book post that Buzyna — like Kalash­nikov — was a key wit­ness in a crim­i­nal case re­lated to pro-Rus­sian ac­tivists who in early 2014 at­tacked the pro-West­ern protests on Kiev’s main square. The protests even­tu­ally led to the ouster of the Krem­lin-friendly Yanukovych, who fled the coun­try in Fe­bru­ary last year.

Herashchenko called on all wit­nesses in the case or any­one who might have in­for­ma­tion about it to con­tact the po­lice if they fear for their safety. The min­is­ter said the killings “could be” or­ches­trated by Rus­sia in or­der to “desta­bi­lize the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine from within.”

Speak­ing at his an­nual call-in show, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin de­scribed Buzyna’s death as a po­lit­i­cal mur­der.

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