Mykolaiv journalist Oleksandr Vlashchenko remains gravely ill after armed attack
The Institute for Mass Information[IMI] is demanding that the police provide a public report on the investigation into the case of Oleksander Vlaschenko, an investigative reporter from Mykolaiv, who was shot on 16 October and is in a grave condition in hospital.
IMI stresses that such attacks on journalists point to a decline in freedom of speech in Ukraine.
On Sunday, 16 October, an armed attack was carried out on journalist Oleksandr Vashchenko from the city newspaper “Nashe Misto Mykolaiv” and the Internet publication Novosti-N.mil.ua.
The assailant shat at the journalist, wounding Oleksandr in the head. His bag was taken, containing a work camera and two mobile phones.
The police have initiated a criminal investigation over robbery with violence and attempted murder.
Gazeta.ua spoke to the Chief Editor of Nashe Misto, Anatoly Onofriychuk who explains that the police are considering two possibilities: robbery or an attack linked with Oleksandr’s work as a journalist. Mr Onofriychuk points out that firstly, there was money in the victim’s pockets which was not taken. Secondly, it would be the first time in Mykolaiv that a person was robbed getting a bullet in the head.
Oleksandr Vlashchenko has worked for the newspaper for three years. He writes about politics, corruption and the housing and communal services sphere, as well as economics.
He is in a grave condition in hospital. The Head Doctor, Oleksandr Demyanov explains that they do not want to operate to remove the bullet lodged in his head for fear of causing irreparable damage.
Oleksandr Vlashchenko’s father believes that the assailants were lying in wait for his son. He was beaten up two years ago and was in hospital for a month. His father calls him a person who cares about others and is just , and says that that is not to everybody’s liking.