DONETSK, Ukraine -- Ukrainian and international NGOs are calling on officials to accelerate an investigation into an arson attack on the apartment of an investigative journalist, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.
Oleksiy Matsuka, 28, is chief editor of the Donetsk regional website News of Donbass
. Someone barricaded his apartment door with bags of cement on July 31 and set fire to it.
A funeral wreath was left at the door reading: "To Oleksiy Vitaliyovych, from grieving friends." Matsuka was not at home at the time.
The police have classified the incident as hooliganism and opened a criminal investigation.
Matsuka told RFE/RL on August 1 the attack was linked to his professional activities.
The News of Donbass website recently published a number of articles about the lavish lifestyle of local elite figures.
In his blog on July 28, Matsuka wrote: "Who would believe the Donetsk mayor lives on his monthly salary of 8,000 hryvnas [$1,000]? Who would believe that the 23-year-old son of the Donetsk regional governor bought a mansion in the city center with his own money? Who would believe that the Donetsk city secretary earned his millions honestly?"
The Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders and the Kyiv-based NGO Stop Censorship called on the Ukrainian authorities on August 1 to ensure Matsuka's personal safety by providing him with police protection until the attackers are found.
Matsuka said the police provided him with a bodyguard only the first night after the attack.
"They think that my position is not high enough and I am not the [sort of] person that should have guards. But I have received direct threats to my life," he told RFE/RL.
Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko asked the police on August 1 to conduct a thorough investigation and to review all possible motives for the attack on Matsuka.
Matsuka also heads the Donetsk Institute of Information, a local NGO.