Ukrainian Investigative Reporter in Critical Condition After Being Shot

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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An investigative reporter in Ukraine is in critical condition after being shot in the head by unidentified attackers.

Reporters Without Borders reported Thursday that Oleksander Vlaschenko, a journalist at the local newspaper Nashe Misto, was shot late Sunday in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv.

He is hospitalized with a bullet lodged in his brain.

Reporters Without Borders welcomes the fact that the police are investigating if the attack is linked to Vlaschenko's work.

The reporter was often critical of local authorities and covered corruption and organized crime. His most recent stories were about possible embezzlement of the proceeds from land sales by government officials.

The journalist was attacked on his way home. The unknown assailants took his two mobile phones and his camera, but left the money he had in his pocket.

Physical attacks on journalists are a major problem in Ukraine. Reporters Without Borders ranks Ukraine as one of the countries with the least press freedom.