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Ukrainians Mark 10th Anniversary Of Journalist's Murder

KYIV -- The 10th anniversary of the murder of Ukrainian investigative journalist Ihor Aleksandrov has been marked in the eastern city of Sloviansk, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Aleksandrov, who authored a series of television programs called "Bez Retushi" (Without Touching Up), focused on the connections between officials in the Donetsk regional city of Sloviansk and criminal gangs.

Twelve people were tried for Aleksandrov's murder in 2006, including two prominent local businessmen who are due to be released from prison soon.

"This is very alarming," Aleksandrov's widow, Lyudmila, told RFE/RL. "Whether or not they are guilty, that is on their conscience -- but they will soon be free and we live in one city."

In 2004, local authorities announced that Aleksandrov's murder had been solved.

But local journalists say those who ordered Aleksandrov's murder remain in high positions of power in Sloviansk.

Journalist Olena Kolhusheva said they are members of local administrations and their activities have been legalized.

She said she is troubled that the journalistic community, of which Aleksandrov was such an important member, has not rallied in a more pronounced way to fight corruption and criminality in Ukraine.

Aleksandrov, 44, was the director of Tor, an independent television station in Sloviansk. He was attacked by at least two people and brutally beaten with baseball bats in July 2001 as he entered Tor's offices.

Aleksandrov never regained consciousness and died from severe head injuries four days later.

It is widely thought his murder was connected to his television program -- which focused on government corruption and organized crime and often criticized Sloviansk city authorities.

After the attack, the chief of the Donetsk Interior Ministry, Volodymyr Malyshev, stated that revenge was the main motive in the murder.

Viktor Pshonka, currently Ukraine's prosecutor-general, was Donetsk's regional prosecutor in 2001 when Aleksandrov was murdered. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was the governor of Donetsk at the time.