TV Journalist Slain in North Caucasus

Dec. 07 2012 — 00:00

A TV journalist shot dead on Wednesday night in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria was likely slain in connection with his work, investigators said in a statement Thursday.

Kazbek Gekkiyev, 28, a correspondent and host for state-owned Vesti KBR, was shot three times in the head at about 9 p.m. in Nalchik, the region's capital, and died on the spot, media reports said.

"Are you the host Kazbek Gekkiyev?" the killers asked. "Yes," Gekkiyev said, and they fired, Vesti reported, a detail that led investigators to suspect a link to Gekkiyev's journalistic work.

The killing is a threat against all journalists who "cover the fight against the criminal underground in the republic," investigators said.

But Gekkiyev did not cover any "acute, criminal topics" or counter-terrorism operations in the North Caucasus, Vesti.ru reported, adding that other TV newscasters in Nalchik have received threats in the past.

Russia is consistently ranked among the most dangerous countries for journalists, 53 of whom have been killed since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Related articles:

Russia Wins Gold at Rio Olympics
The flame for the 2016 Summer Olympics was extinguished in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, symbolizing the end of the Games. Russia finished fourth ...
Best of Moscow: Eight Ways to Enjoy the Last Gasp of Summer
A Moscow winter may not carry quite the same connotations as one in “Game of Thrones,” but it certainly signals the end of ...
Best of Moscow: Eight Ways to Enjoy the Last Gasp of Summer
A Moscow winter may not carry quite the same connotations ...
Russia Puts Privatization on the Back Burner
The privatization of shipping company Sovcomflot has been postponed to 2017, according to a Federal Property Management Agency ...