RFE/RL Correspondent’s Car Set on Fire in Lviv

The car of an RFE/RL Ukrainian service correspondent in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv was set on fire overnight on January 29-30 — an arson attack that Deputy Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko said could have been ordered by someone. Halyna Tereshchuk, who has been working for RFE/RL since 2000, said she suspected the attack was linked to her professional activities. “We think the crime was ordered, that somebody hired someone to conduct it,” Herashchenko told RFE/RL, adding that the police were doing “everything to find both the perpetrators and those who ordered the attack.” The National Police in Lviv said earlier in the day that a probe had been launched into the “deliberate destruction of the journalist’s property.” According to witnesses, a masked individual approached the Mitsubishi Colt around midnight, placed something on the windshield of the vehicle, set fire to it and then fled. Second fireThe Ukrainian unit of rights group Freedom House condemned the torching of not only Tereschchuk’s vehicle but also, on the same day, the car of Andriy Lukin, an activist in Zaporizhzhya. “We are outraged by the fires … and call on law enforcement agencies to investigate these incidents effectively,” Freedom House Ukraine said on Facebook. The group stated that “arson or other methods of destruction of vehicles and property are becoming increasingly used as a means to pressure active people in Ukraine.” It noted that there were 11 cases last year of property belonging to activists being destroyed and “in almost all cases, the perpetrators were not found and punished.”