The chief editor of a weekly newspaper based in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has been missing for nearly a week and police are investigating possible foul play, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.
Vasyl Klymentyev, 66, of "Novy Stil" (New Style), was last seen on August 11.
Klymentyev is well known for his articles criticizing the local authorities. His deputy, Petro Matvienko, told RFE/RL that Klymentyev writes mainly about human rights violations and corruption and abuse of power among local law enforcement officers. His recent articles criticized Kharkiv Oblast Deputy Prosecutor Serhiy Khachatrian and regional tax chief Stanislav Denisyuk.
According to Matvienko, on August 9 he and Klymentyev took photographs of mansions belonging to Denisyuk and three other local officials, including a former Ukrainian State Security Service officer. They intended to use the pictures in an article to be published in the next issue of the paper.
Matvienko said he and Klymentyev met on the morning of August 11 to discuss the article and the photos. Later the same day, Matvienko said, he was not able to reach Klymentyev by phone.
Klymentyev's relatives reported him missing on August 12. Police said preliminary investigations revealed that Klymentyev was last seen on August 11 near Kharkiv's Sportivna metro station, together with an unknown man, and that both of them got into a BMW automobile.
On August 15, police officially defined Klymentyev's case as a "possible premeditated murder." The Kharkiv Interior Affairs Department press service declined to explain to RFE/RL the reasons for doing so.