April 16, 2015 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Opposition journalist gunned down in central Kiev

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns opposition journalist Oles Buzina’s murder shortly after midday today in central Kiev. Police said they were looking for two masked individuals who shot him from a moving car and then sped away. Aged 45, Buzina was known for his pro-Russian views and opposition to the government established in Ukraine after the Maidan Square revolution of February 2014. He regarded the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples “as one,” opposed the construction of a Ukrainian national identity, and advocated Ukraine’s federalization. He worked for many Russian news media and was briefly the editor of Segodnya, a daily owned by Rinat Akhmetov, a very wealthy businessman. “The Ukrainian authorities must do everything possible to quickly identify the perpetrators and possible masterminds of this murder,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk “The investigators must consider all possible scenarios and follow up all leads without their work being affected by any politicization of the case. It is now or never if the police and judicial authorities want to demonstrate that they have ended the culture of impunity.” Buzina’s murder came just one day after Oleh Kalashnikov, a former legislator and supporter of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, was fatally shot outside his Kiev apartment. Russian President Vladimir Putin lost no time in describing Buzina’s death as the “latest political killing” in Ukraine, while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the two deaths as a “deliberate provocation” designed to destabilize the country. (Photo: Volodymyr Shuvayev / AFP)