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Ukrainian Journalist Suffering From Amnesia After Shooting

KYIV -- A Ukrainian journalist shot and injured in the southern city of Mykolaiv on October 16 does not remember what happened to him that day, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Oleksandr Vlashchenko, a journalist working for the newspaper "Nashe Misto - Mykolaiv" ("Our City -- Mykolaiv"), was shot in the head late at night 16 after he had taken his girlfriend home and was on his way back to his apartment.

Local police launched an investigation and initially classified the case as a robbery. Vlashchenko's colleague says that the case had since been reclassified as attempted murder.

Talking to RFE/RL on October 16, "Nashe Misto - Mykolaiv" chief editor Iryna Chernyshova said investigators have established that Vlashchenko was shot with an air rifle. Vlashchenko remains in the hospital and has been diagnosed with retrograde amnesia.

"He does not remember what happened and is not able to recall that day at all. He left his office at around 11 p.m. that night with his girlfriend. The police are looking for possible witnesses," Chernyshova said.

Chernyshova said the assailant or assailants took Vlashchenko's bag with his camera, voice recorder, and two mobile phones, but not some 300 hryvnyas ($40) in cash in his coat pocket.

As a journalist, Vlashchenko covered local housing and utilities issues, as well as sessions of the regional council. Chernyshova says police have not ruled out the possibility that the attack was connected with Vlashchenko's professional activities.

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