Desh Duniya Samachar
Image source: The Blue Print

Elena Kostyuchenko, a journalist who has openly criticized the invasion of Ukraine, reportedly fell ill during a train journey in Germany last autumn. German authorities are currently investigating a potential poisoning incident in Munich involving the Russian dissident journalist. Kostyuchenko had previously received information from a source in Ukrainian military reconnaissance about Russian plans to assassinate her due to her critical articles.

In an article published by Russian-language outlet Meduza and US publication n+1, Kostyuchenko revealed that she was warned of the assassination plot last March. At the time, she was reporting from near Mariupol, Ukraine, for the now-closed independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She managed to escape to Berlin following the threat.

During a visit to Munich on October 17, where she was applying for a Ukrainian visa to continue her coverage of the war, Kostyuchenko started experiencing symptoms of poisoning on her return train journey to Berlin. She suffered from severe headaches, weakness, shortness of breath, and nausea. Medical tests conducted ten days later revealed abnormal liver enzyme levels and blood in her urine.

Initially, the investigation into the alleged poisoning was closed in May due to a lack of evidence, but it was reopened in July based on further considerations of the circumstances. German authorities are now exploring the possibility of additional evidence and examining objects from the vicinity of the incident.

Elena Kostyuchenko has a history of award-winning journalism, including coverage of the 2011 Zhanaozen massacre in Kazakhstan. She was inspired to enter journalism by the late Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was poisoned in 2004 and later killed in 2006.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged German and Georgian authorities to thoroughly investigate the allegations made by Kostyuchenko, as well as reports of a poisoning attempt on Russian radio journalist Irina Babloyan. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has prompted heightened concern for the safety of journalists covering critical issues.

The Guardian has extensively covered the war in Ukraine, producing numerous articles, films, and podcasts on the subject. The newspaper’s commitment to unbiased reporting and transparency is supported by its global readership, and it relies on financial contributions from supporters to maintain its independent journalism.

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