Investigative reporter shot, wounded in Moscow

New York, June 15, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces the shooting of investigative reporter Andrei Kalitin, who had been working on a book alleging criminal dealings in Russia’s aluminum business.

Kalitin, 37, was shot in the shoulder Wednesday evening as he was leaving his home to meet with a colleague, according to local media reports. He has worked as a special correspondent for the investigative journalism program “Spetsrassledovaniye” (Special Investigation) on Russia’s national television Channel One since 2006.

“We are deeply concerned about the safety of Andrei Kalitin, who had worked on sensitive issues prior to the attack,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We are asking Russian authorities to thoroughly investigate the assault on our colleague and bring all involved to justice.”

Kalitin gave a detailed account of the shooting to the independent business daily Kommersant and the independent news Web site Gazeta but said he couldn’t identify the shooter because his face was obscured by a baseball cap. He said the shooter used a gun with a silencer and fired just once. Kalitin immediately sought medical help but was not hospitalized. He didn’t immediately report the attack to the police.

Police have not yet opened a criminal case into the attack, according to local press reports.

For the past four months, Kalitin had been working on a book alleging mafia involvement in the aluminum business. The book, titled Mafia in Black, is to be released in August. Kalitin told Gazeta that the week before the attack, his phone would ring in the early morning but when he would pick it up, the caller on the other end would hang up, Gazeta reported.

Kalitin is a former reporter for “Sovershenno Sekretno” (Top Secret), an independent anti-corruption television program produced in the 1990s by legendary Russian journalist Artyom Borovik.

Among the topics Kalitin has investigated are the dealings of the Russian mafia in the United States, the conflict in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, and the July 2004 slaying of Forbes-Russia Editor Paul Klebnikov.