Regional newspaper editor killed

New York, April 30, 2002—
Valery Ivanov, editor of the newspaper Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye in the southern Russian city of Togliatti, was shot dead outside his home last night, CPJ has confirmed.

At approximately 11 p.m. Ivanov, 32, was shot eight times in the head at point-blank range while entering his car, a colleague at the newspaper told CPJ.

Eyewitnesses saw a 25 to 30 year-old man walk up to Ivanov’s car and shoot him, according to local press reports and CPJ sources. The killer then fled the scene on foot.

“We are shocked by the brutal murder of our colleague Valery Ivanov,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “This latest attack shows that journalists remain extremely vulnerable in Russia. We call on authorities to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice.”

Local police have opened a criminal investigation and are considering several possible motives for the murder.

Ivanov’s colleagues believe the crime was connected to his work. Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye is well known for its reports on local organized crime, drug trafficking, and official corruption.

Ivanov also served as a deputy in the local Legislative Assembly.