Russian journalist Dmitri Popkov was killed in his backyard in the late evening of 24 May after being shot five times by an unidentified perpetrator.
Popkov is the editor-in-chief and founder of local newspaper Ton-M, whose investigations, including on police corruption, have garnered significant public attention. According to RFE/RL, Popkov claimed his newspaper became “an obstacle” for local officials who are now “threatening and intimidating journalists”.
“The climate of impunity makes Russia one of the most dangerous countries to do journalism,” said Hannah Machlin, project manager at Index on Censorship. “Popkov is the second journalist to be killed in 2017. Index calls on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Earlier this year on 9 May, Nikolay Andruschenko, an investigative correspondent for weekly newspaper Novyi Petersburg, died as a result of injuries following two brutal assaults. Andruschenkov also conducted investigations into corruption, abuse of power and torture by the police.