Missing reporter’s body found in Smolensk

New York, April 2, 2002—The body of 26-year-old Sergei Kalinovsky, editor-in-chief of the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets—Smolensk, was found yesterday by a lake outside the city of Smolensk in central Russia.

Kalinovsky, who reported on local politics and crime for the Smolensk edition of the Moscow daily Moskovsky Komsomolets and the local SCS television station, disappeared on the evening of December 14, 2001.

Local police have opened a criminal investigation and are considering several possible motives for the murder, but the journalist’s colleagues told CPJ that they believe Kalinovsky was killed for his reporting.

In March 2001, Kalinovsky’s apartment was damaged by a fire that he suspected was set in retaliation for his work, according to online news service NTVRU.COM. Local investigators, however, ruled out arson as a cause.

“We are shocked by the brutal murder of our colleague,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “We call on authorities to investigate the case thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to justice.”