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Anatoliy Shariy

Ukraine’s Security Service announced on February 25 that it has put a pro-Kremlin blogger and politician on its wanted list after he failed to show up for questioning.

Anatoliy Shariy was charged earlier this month with high treason and hate speech and ordered to come in for questioning on February 22.

The SBU, as the service is known, claims he helped organize pro-Russia media campaigns. Shariy denies the accusations.

Shariy is a former journalist who fled Ukraine for Spain in 2012 after authorities opened a criminal case against him for assault. He received asylum in Spain, where he currently lives.

Though his initial investigative reporting targeted the government of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych, he wrote critically about the revolution that deposed him and spoke out against the Western-leaning governments that followed.

In 2019, he launched the Party of Shariy, whose candidates won a few local elections in 2020.

Shariy is the latest pro-Russian politician to face trouble in recent weeks. Ukraine earlier this month sanctioned lawmakers Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak, who are considered to be close to the Kremlin.

Kosovar investigative journalist Visar Duriqi

PRISTINA -- A prominent Kosovar investigative journalist said he was physically attacked by three masked individuals on February 25 while walking toward his home outside the capital shortly after midnight.

Visar Duriqi, who works for the online portal Insajderi, told RFE/RL in a statement that he suffered four broken teeth, a broken nose, and injuries to his upper body in the attack.

“After I parked the car and started walking towards my apartment building, I was first attacked by one person, and then two more people joined in beating me,” Duriqi told RFE/RL in a statement.

“They pulled me on the side where there is no camera surveillance. This means they knew the place where they wanted to do this attack very well and where there are no cameras,” he said.

Kosovar police told RFE/RL that they are investigating the case.

Duriqi said he did not know the reason for the attack. The journalist has written about sensitive topics such as corruption, organized crime, and religious groups in Kosovo.

The Office of the EU in Kosovo said in a post on Twitter that it is “deeply disturbed” by the attack on Duriqi and called on authorities to swiftly investigate the incident.

“Journalists must be able to work in a free and safe environment,” the Office of the EU said in the post.

Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti called the incident an “attack on free speech” that is “unacceptable and punishable.” He instructed the police to make quick progress on the case.

The Association of Journalists of Kosovo also demanded that the judiciary investigate the motives of the attack as soon as possible.

They added that they will inform domestic and national organizations about the incident, a move that could help keep pressure on the police to find the perpetrators.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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