Nikopol journalist links grenade incident with his journalist investigations

Freelance journalist for the newspaper Nikopol City, Ruslan Solovyov believes that a grenade was hurled into his courtyard as retaliation for his attempts to investigate corrupt set ups in the city’s communal services.

He asserts that virtually all communal enterprises in Nikopol are in one way or another linked with relatives of the current Mayor. He believes that the grenade was a “warning” after he tried to obtain the results of checks of these enterprises carried out by control and audit bodies.

He names some of the enterprises and says he was investigating possible misuse of public funding, and says he had received information to this effect. “According to various sources we are talking about approximately 1 million 100 thousand UAH”.

The founder and editor of the newspaper, Viktor Artemenko says that for financial reasons since August they have been unable to issue the printed version of the paper which often criticized the authorities. However the Internet version is continuing investigations. He adds that half a year ago, after the appearance of a special issue of the newspaper with criticism of the authorities, somebody took the screws out of one of the wheels of his car.

The Nikopol City Council is making no comment, and its press service claims that it was not aware of Solovyov as a journalist at all. it says that he is better known in the city as assistant to the previous Mayor.

The grenade exploded in the courtyard of Solovyov’s home on 7 December while he was home with his family. The explosion broke window panes and damaged walls.

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