Oleh Baturyn, a Ukrainian journalist working with the Center for Journalistic Investigations, received violent online threats after a story about a member of the Kherson regional council's Russian connections, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported on Jan. 9.
The story, which did not have a byline, said that Valerii Saltykov, a member of Kherson's regional council, had recently registered his business in Russia and received a Russian passport. Baturyn shared the story on Facebook and told CPJ that he received a "wave of threats and hate" shortly after.
Hostile messages including rape threats and homophobic comments came from at least five different sources on social media, Baturyn said.
“I associate the threats exclusively with the publication about Valerii Saltykov since the authors of these messages directly write that Valerii Saltykov is a very good person and I should be raped and mutilated," he told CPJ.
“Ukrainian authorities must conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the violent threats made against journalist Oleh Baturyn and ensure that he remains safe,” commented Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.
Baturyn said that the police contacted him about starting an investigation, but added that he had not heard directly from any investigators.
CPJ said that neither Saltykov nor the Ukrainian police responded to requests for comment.
Baturyn was captured by Russian forces shortly after the beginning of the full-scale invasion in March 2022 while working in occupied Kherson Oblast.
"I was beaten, humiliated, threatened. They said they would kill me," he said after being released from more than a week in captivity.