Fatal journalist investigation


The Head of the relevant section of ICTV Oksana Sokolova believes that the death of Olexei Goncharov, the environmental activist and pensioner is linked with the unprofessional behaviour of the journalist who ran the investigation into the illegal extraction of sand from Zhukiv Island.

59-year-old Olexei Goncharov was killed the day after the investigative programme “Maximum in Ukraine” was broadcast on ICTV.

As reported on 28 May, the day of the murder, the Kyiv Environmental-Cultural Centre issued a statement in which it outlined what it is convinced is a clear link between Mr Goncharov’s consistent opposition to the illegal extraction of sand from Zhukiv Island which is part of a reserve where any such activity is prohibited and his murder.

“Mr Goncharov showed a filming team from TV Channel ICTV the place where the sand was being removed thanks to which the police were called and the illegal extraction (essentially theft) was stopped. The next day, the filming crew of this channel went to the site together with representatives of the Kyiv Environmental-Cultural Centre who gave an environmental assessment of the sand extraction. We took the decision to also look into other firms illegally taking sand from the Zhukiv Island.

However the very next day, Olexei Goncharov, a pensioner, was murdered.”

The television channel is officially neither confirming nor denying that the murder of Mr Goncharov (and serious injuries to his wife) was connected with the involvement of ICTV journalists. On the other hand the official statement from Ms Sokolova criticizes the journalist who met with Mr Goncharov. . He had been quoted as stating that Olexei Goncharov had telephoned him and agreed a meeting but that ten minutes later he had been killed. The journalist was strictly forbidden from talking to the press since he is a witness in the criminal investigation. Oksana Sokolova’s statement says that the journalist is being taken off the investigation because he is now a witness but promises that the investigation will continue.

From material at

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