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Police suspect arson after journalist's cars found burned

by Sergiy SlipchenkoDecember 6, 2021 3:53 pm
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The remains of a Subaru Forester belonging to local journalist Pavlo Biletskyi were found on Dec. 5, 2021 in Uzhgorod, a regional capital in western Ukraine. The other car belonging to his family was also found burned. (Main Directorate of the National Police in Zakarpattia Oblast/Facebook)

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.

Sergiy Slipchenko
Sergiy Slipchenko
News reporter

Sergiy Slipchenko is a staff writer at the Kyiv Independent. He studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and worked as a reporter at the Kyiv Post.

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