November 29, 2011 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Young news photographer stabbed to death in Kiev

Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Vitaly Rozvadovsky, a photographer for the Ukrainian weekly 2000, was stabbed to death by an unidentified person or persons last night in Kiev.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the victim’s family and pledge our full support for his colleagues,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope light will be shed quickly on all the unclear circumstances surrounding this murder and we urge to the police to explore all the hypotheses, including the possibility that it was linked to his work as a journalist. It is still too soon to reach any definitive conclusions about what really happened.”

Rozvadovsky was stabbed several times in the face and neck at the entrance to the stairway of 168 Kharkovskoye Street in Kiev at around 11 p.m. last night. He died about four hours later in a nearby hospital after losing a lot of blood.

The editor of 2000, Mikhail Denisenko, told Reporters Without Borders: “The information so far available to us is extremely limited. Nothing is definitive. The accounts of the various witnesses are contradictory.” Denisenko added that, as far as he knew, Rozvadovsky had not covered any sensitive stories recently and had not received any threats.

The police are treating his death as “murder with premeditation” under article 115 of the criminal code and, for the time being, are working on the assumption that it was the result of a personal dispute.

A police spokesman, Vladimir Dmitrenko, said that a suspect had already been identified and that, “on the basis of statements taken, there is an 80 per cent probability that the murder is not linked to (Rozvadovsky’s) journalist activity.”

According to some accounts, Rozvadovsky did not come alone to the place where he was attacked. Was he accompanied and, if so, by whom? What has happened to this person?

The journalist Mustafa Nayem reported on Facebook that, according to one witness, Rozvadovsky’s assailants tried to rob a USB flash drive from him and that the USB flash drive is now in the possession of the police. If so, what has become of it?

Rozvadovsky, who used the pseudonym of Vitaly Sichen, was aged 30 and had worked for 2000 for nine years. According to some sources, he also worked for the news agency PHL and sometimes used the pseudonym of Viktor Vedomy as well.