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Journalist under police protection after receiving threat

(IMI/IFEX) - A Kalashnikov cartridge was thrown under the door of journalist Oleksii Kutepov's apartment as he was leaving his home on 18 July 2011, reports the online newspaper "Telekrytyka". Kutepov is a reporter for 1+1 TV station.

According to the journalist, when he opened the door of his apartment, a white envelope containing a Kalashnikov 5.45 mm cartridge fell to his feet.

The journalist immediately called the police, who removed the cartridge, examined the apartment with a police dog and took fingerprints. Police also questioned Kutepov about the incident.

"I do not know who did this, but I definitely attribute this to my professional activities, as I haven't had any personal conflicts," Kutepov said. He said he interpreted the cartridge as a message that he should abandon some of the stories he is investigating, though he does not know which ones.

"My latest topics were drugs, casinos and the illegal sentencing of Michael Kramarenko, as a result of which I had a conflict with the judge of Dnipropetrovsk Court," said Kutepov.

On 19 July, the police opened a file on the case under article 120 of the Criminal Code, based on the finding of the Kalashnikov cartridge. Kutepov is also currently under the protection of two officers with the special police service "Griffon".

Kutepov was also questioned as a witness in the case of the attempted murder of his colleague from "Obozrevatel" newspaper, Anatolii Sharii. Unknown persons shot at Sharii's car on the night of 13 July, as he was returning from an investigation into gambling.

Kutepov has been working on a series of investigations with Sharii for the online edition of "Obozrevatel".

This is not the first time Kutepov has been under police protection. In February 2011, after receiving repeated telephone threats, he was placed under the protection of the special unit "Sokiln". He began to receive threats after investigating legal drug injection sites operating at a number of hospitals.

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