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Ukrainian Journalists Appeal To President Over Missing Colleague


Undated photo of missing journalist Vasyl Klymentyev

Undated photo of missing journalist Vasyl Klymentyev

KHARKIV -- Ukrainian journalists are appealing to the president to help solve the disappearance of a colleague six months ago, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Independent journalist Vasyl Klymentyev went missing six months ago from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, where he was editor in chief of the "Novyy Styl" newspaper.

Klymentyev's deputy, Petro Matviyenko, told RFE/RL the investigation into the disappearance has not moved forward in the past six months, despite the involvement of a special investigative group from Kyiv.

Matviyenko said journalists in Kharkiv would send an open letter to President Viktor Yanukovych urging him to intervene in the investigation and demand a more thorough investigation.

On August 9, Klymentyev and Matviyenko took photographs of mansions belonging to regional Tax Chief Stanislav Denisyuk and three other local officials, including a former Ukrainian Security Service officer. They intended to use the pictures in an article to be published in the next issue of the paper.

Matviyenko met Klymentyev on August 11 to discuss the article and the photos. Later that day, Matviyenko said he was not able to reach Klymentyev by phone.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Klymentyev was last seen that day near Kharkiv's Sportivna subway station together with an unknown man, and that both of them got into a BMW automobile.

He has not been seen since.

Matviyenko told RFE/RL he is afraid that the case, which police have classified as "premeditated murder," might be closed since Klymentyev’s body has never been found.

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