Mykhailo Kolomyets

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

The body of Kolomyets, co-owner and director of the Kyiv, Ukraine based Ukrainski Novyny news agency, was found on October 30 hanging from a tree in a forest in northwestern Belarus, near the city of Maladzechna, according to Ukrainski Novyny.

Kolomyets’ colleagues said that they reported the journalist missing on October 28, after he had failed to come to work a week earlier. According to Ukrainian police, the journalist had traveled to neighboring Belarus on October 22. Lyubov Ruban, a friend of Kolomyets’, said that the journalist called her that day and informed her that he was planning to commit suicide.

Although Kolomyets had received no known threats for his work, colleagues say that the journalist may have been targeted because of the agency’s reputation for independent reporting, or because of the large financial stake he held in the company. Ukrainian authorities are investigating the case.