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November 28, 2011

Journalists Stabbed to Death in Ukraine's Capital

A Ukrainian photojournalist has been killed in the capital, Kyiv, in what the official media describe as a personal conflict.

Vitaliy Rozvadovsky, a reporter with the Ukrainian weekly 2000, died hours after an assailant stabbed him at the entrance to the stairway of a Kyiv building.

Officials say the murder does not appear to be linked to his profession.

News media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders expressed shock Tuesday at Rozvadovsky's death and urged authorities to explore all possibilities that may have lead to the killing.

The group quoted a police spokesman, Vladimir Dmitrenko, as saying the incident is being treated for the time being as "murder with premeditation" under the presumption that it was the result of a personal dispute.

Reporters Without Borders ranks Ukraine as one of the countries with the least press freedom and says attacks on journalists remain frequent.

Last month investigative reporter Oleksander Vlaschenko was shot in the head by unidentified attackers in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv.  He was hospitalized with a bullet lodged in his brain.  

Earlier this year, U.S.-based Freedom House reported that freedom of press declined in Ukraine during 2010.