TV journalist beaten to death in Russian city of Vladivostok

A television journalist was beaten to death in Vladivostok, police in the Russian Pacific coast city said Monday. Colleagues said they did not believe the killing was connected to his work.

The body of Konstantin Borovko, 25, was found on a street in the city early Saturday with injuries consistent with a beating, said Yekaterina Polyanskaya, a spokeswoman for the regional Interior Ministry branch.

Borovko anchored a morning program on entertainment and cultural events at Guberniya, a major regional channel in the neighboring Khabarovsk Territory, but was in Vladivostok for exams at a university where he studied at the media department, said Inna Perekhozheva, editor of morning programs at the channel.

Colleagues suspect Borovko was the victim of a random attack or a robbery, said Perekhozheva, who said his work had not involved sensitive issues.

Borovko and a friend were returning from a night out when they were attacked, she said, adding that his friend remained in intensive care Monday.

Polyanskaya declined to comment on possible motives in the attack, citing a continuing investigation.

Russia is among the most dangerous countries for journalists, plagued by attacks on reporters who criticize or seek to investigate corruption and injustice on the part of government officials and business leaders.

The problem was highlighted by the October killing of Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter and Kremlin critic and who exposed human rights abuses in Chechnya, reports AP.

In the city of Partizansk, near Vladivostok, a journalist was beaten Friday in an attack colleagues suspect was linked to an investigation into allegations that a local company was late paying wages and otherwise mistreating employees, Russian news agencies reported Monday.

Tamara Golovanova, a reporter with the local newspaper Vesti, was beaten in the face and chest by an unidentified assailant who had demanded she stop taking pictures of people she was interviewing in connection with the allegations against the company, Interfax reported.

The International Federation of Journalists said this month that more than 200 journalists had been killed in Russia since 1993 and that 40 of the murders since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000 had not been satisfactorily resolved.

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