Two cars belonging to a journalist and his wife were found burned early on Dec. 5 on the outskirts of Uzhgorod, the regional capital of Zakarpattia Oblast in western Ukraine. The National Police in Zakarpattia Oblast are investigating the incident as possible arson.
The completely destroyed Subaru Forester and a partially damaged Volkswagen Beetle are the property of Ukrainian Journalist Pavlo Biletskyi, the founder and chief editor of the Ukrainian news outlet ZIDO.
Biletskyi believes he was targeted for intimidation due to his profession, according to a statement by Serhiy Tomilenko, head of the National Council of Ukrainian Journalists.
Tomilenko called on police to promptly investigate the incident.
Arson attacks against journalists' cars are not infrequent in Ukraine.
In August 2020, a car that had been used by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty investigations unit Schemes was burned amid an increase in attacks on Ukraine's free press.
In January 2020, a journalist working for RFE/RL said her car was burned in what may have been retaliation for her reporting.
In his statement, Tomilenko mentioned that at least four cases in which journalists' cars were burned remain uninvestigated.