Existence of a newspaper called XXI Century in the city of Lugansk; reports of a robbery at the newspaper's offices occurring in October 2000; whether XXI Century had an editor named Oleg Breus and whether he killed in December 2000 [UKR39350.E]

A number of reports described XXI Century, also referred to as XXI Vek and 21st Century, as a "regional weekly" (RFE/RL 13 July 2001; CPJ 28 June 2001) published in Lugansk (GDF 23 July 2001; RSF 7 July 2001; IBB 12 July 2001; RFE/RL 10 Dec. 2001). The Research Directorate was unable to ascertain whether the newspaper is still being published in Lugansk.

The Research Directorate found one report of a robbery occurring at XXI Vek offices on the evening of 15-16 October 2000 (KHPG Nov. 2000). The report, attributed to Lugansk Inform-KVU, indicated that the thieves "did not take valuable apparatus[es], they were interested only in computers and diskettes, in other words, only in information carriers" (ibid.).

Oleg (Oleh) Breus was variously called the publisher (CPJ 28 June 2001; RSF 7 July 2001; RFE/RL 13 July 2001), a journalist (GDF 2 July 2001), a co-publisher (ibid.) and the founder of XXI Vek (RFE/RL 20 July 2001; RUJ June 2001); however, the Research Directorate did not find reports indicating that he was an editor of that newspaper. In December 2000, Breus escaped an attempt on his life (IPI 21 Feb. 2002) when he was attacked by an unidentified man who stabbed him twice (RUJ June 2001; GDF 2 July 2001). On 24 June 2001, Breus was shot and killed near his home in Lugansk (CPJ 7 June 2002; ibid. 28 June 2001; IBB 12 July 2001) by either one (GDF 2 July 2001) or two assailants who fled the scene following the attack (CPJ 7 June 2002; IPI 21 Feb. 2002; RFE/RL 13 July 2001). No mention of arrests made in connection with this case was found among sources consulted for this Response. The Committee to Project Journalists stated in June 2002 that the motive for the attack "remains unclear" (7 June 2002); however, it and other sources speculate that the murder may be related to material published in the paper or to Breus' business interests (ibid.; RSF 7 July 2001; IBB 12 July 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 7 June 2002. Attacks on the Press in 2001. "Ukraine." http://www.cpj.org/attacks01/europe01/ukraine.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

_____. 28 June 2001. "Ukraine: Newspaper Publisher Shot Dead." (IFEX 29 June 2001/NEXIS)

Glasnost Defense Foundation (GDF). 23 July 2001. Weekly Digest No. 49. "Ukraine: The 'Reporters Without Borders' Consider Crimes Against Journalists a 'Horrifying Daily Routine of Contemporary Ukraine.'" http://www.gdf.ru/digest/digest/digest049e.shtml [Accessed 26 July 2002]

_____. 2 July 2001. Weekly Digest No. 46. "Ukraine: One More Ukrainian Journalist Has Been Assassinated." http://www.gdf.ru/digest/digest/digest046ee.shtml [Accessed 26 July 2002]

International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). 12 July 2001. "Journalist Killed in Ukraine." http://www.ibb.gov/editorials/09341.htm [Accessed 26 July 2002]

International Press Institute (IPI). 21 February 2002. 2001 World Press Freedom Review. "Ukraine." http://www.freemedia.at/wpfr/ukraine.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

Kharkiv Group for Human Rights Protection (KHPG). November 2000. Pravda Ludyny. No. 11. O. Svetikov. "The Lugansk Oblast is a Risk Area for Journalists." http://www.khpg.org/pl/0011/pl_t0011.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 10 December 2001. Media Matters. Vol. 1, No. 41. Myroslava Gongadze. "International Commission Needed to Investigate Gongadze Case." http://www.rferl.org/mm/2001/12/41-101201.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

_____. 20 July 2001. Features. Paul Goble. "Ukraine: Analysis from Washington -- When Journalists Become Targets." http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2001/07/20072001120909.asp [Accessed 26 July 2002]

_____. 13 July 2001. Media Matters. Vol. 1, No. 22. "Newspaper Publisher Shot Dead." http://www.rferl.org/mm/2001/07/22-130701.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF). 7 July 2001. "Television Station Director Attacked, Currently in Coma." http://www.rsf.org/rsf/uk/html/europe/cplp01/lp01/060701.html [Accessed 26 July 2002]

Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ). Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations. June 2001. Rights' Abuse of Journalists and the Press in CIS States. "Ukraine: Journalists Who Were Victims of Accidents or Incidents Unrelated to Their Professional Activities." http://www.cjes.ru/english/monitoring/ june_01.php [Accessed 26 July 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Europa 2001

Internet sites including:

Lugansk Inform

Ukrainian Archive

Virtual Lugansk

World News Connection