A journalist for the weekly “Nedelya Plus” Volodymyr Startsev has disappeared in Luhansk, reports Ukrainska Pravda, citing Channel 5, May 17. According to the TV channel, Startsev left the house of his friends, but never made it home. He is not responding to phone calls. Colleagues suspect his disappearance is connected to his professional activities. They say police are searching for him.
As reported earlier, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has stated that the climate for media activity in Eastern Ukraine has deteriorated significantly and that 23 members of the media have been kidnapped.
“Journalists, bloggers and other media professionals who are working in the area on a regular basis or who visit it are facing increasing threats and acts of intimidation, such as kidnappings and illegal detention by armed groups,” the UN report states.
Additionally, UN representatives have learned that terrorists at the checkpoints of Slovyansk have lists of journalists and other individuals, along with their photographs and personal information, who are being sought by the armed groups.