Writers in danger

Writers in danger

The mother of slain Ukrainian writer appeals to Zelenskiy 

Valentina Buzina, the mother of the murdered Ukrainian journalist and writer Oles Buzina, has appealed to President Zelenskiy to ensure her son’s murder is fully investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Details of the appeal were made public by Valentina Buzina’s lawyer.

Oles Buzina murdered 16 April 2015 near his home, the address of which had been publicised a few days before via the Mirotvorets database. Buzina, had urged a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis and the country’s federalisation. 

In June 2015 two suspects were arrested, both of whom had served in the Ukrainian army “Harpoon” battalion. However, later the same month the main murder suspect, Denis Polischuk, was released on 5 million UAH (US$232 000) bail. The payment was announced by Anton Geraschenko, advisor to the interior minister, who said the sum had been paid for by Ukrainian businessman Oleksiy Tamrazov. 

Both suspects in the case are closely associated with the S14 far-right formation led by Yevhenii Karas. Denis Polischuk’s Facebook profile links him to the National Human Rights Centre, one of the branches of S14 .

In 2018, Ukrainian media reported that projects affiliated with Yevhenii Karas, including National Human Rights Centre, received almost half a million UAH from the state budget.

In her open letter to President Zelenskiy, Valentina Buzina states that four years after her son’s murder no one had been brought to book. 

House arrest of journalist Vasily Muravitski extended 

On June 18, 2019, the court in Zhitomir extended the pre-trial house arrest of Ukrainian journalist Vladimir Muravitskiy, until 14 August.

In 2017, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested Muravitsky on a charge of treason. He was first held in prison for a year before being put under house arrest. Muravitskiy, who wrote as a freelance journalist for various Russian media, is charged with preparing and distributing “anti-Ukrainian” materials on orders from Moscow. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in jail.