Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2004 - Motive Unconfirmed: Heorhiy Chechyk

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2005
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2004 - Motive Unconfirmed: Heorhiy Chechyk, January 2005, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

March 3, 2004, in Pyryatin District, Poltava Oblast, Ukraine

Chechyk, director of the private radio and television company Yuta, was killed when his car collided with another vehicle in Poltava Oblast, about 215 miles (344 kilometers) east of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, according to local and international reports.

Chechyk, 56, was driving to a meeting in Kyiv to discuss broadcasting news from the Ukrainian Service of the U.S. government­funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Yuta, which Chechyk headed for 11 years, owned the FM radio station Poltava Plus.

Chechyk's death coincided with a clampdown on radio stations carrying RFE/RL programming in Ukraine. The day of the car accident, police raided the independent Kyiv radio station Kontinent and took it off the air. The police confiscated the station's transmitter and broadcasting equipment, and sealed its offices five days after Kontinent added a daily two-hour RFE/RL segment to its programming.

Several local and international media organizations called for a thorough and transparent investigation into Chechyk's death, noting that it came amid the clampdown on RFE/RL carriers.

On March 4, a representative from the Poltava Oblast State Autoinspection Department (Gosavtoinspektsiya or GAI), said Chechyk's car showed no evidence of tampering. He said Chechyk had likely lost control of the car and entered the opposite lane, according to local press reports.

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