Pro-Russia journalist shot dead in Ukraine

April 16, 2015 12:46 PM ET

New York, April 16, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ukrainian authorities to identify the motive in the murder of Oles Buzina, former editor of the independent news website Segodnya, in Kiev early today. Buzina was gunned down outside of his home by two masked men who fled the scene, according to news reports. Ukraine's interior ministry has launched an investigation into the murder, the agency said on its website.

"We condemn today's murder of Oles Buzina, and call on Ukrainian authorities to solve this case without delay," said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. "We also urge Ukrainian authorities to consider Buzina's journalism as the murder's possible motive and to bring those responsible to justice."

The local and international press described Buzina as a pro-Russia journalist who wrote controversial articles and books on Ukraine's history and the current political crisis in the country, including the conflict in the east. Last month, Buzina stepped down from his post at Segodnya, citing alleged censorship by the outlet's owner, reports said. According to the AP, Ukrainian authorities said today that Buzina was also a key witness in an investigation into clashes in early 2014 between government-hired activists and opposition protesters at Kiev's Maidan Square.

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