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Governor Condemns Death Threats Against Reporter

Ryazan region Governor Oleg Kovalyov has said that insulting or threatening journalists is unacceptable after death threats were directed at a local reporter from an opposition-minded newspaper.

On Tuesday, Yury Matitsin, a Novaya Gazeta sports reporter, found a coffin lid with his photo attached inside his apartment block, RIA-Novosti reported.

"Matitsin called me, and we decided to inform the police about what we interpreted as a death threat," Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief in Ryazan, Alexei Frolov, told the news agency Tuesday.

Matitsin later received a phone call during which an unidentified caller enquired about his and his mother's health, prompting Matitsin to be more vigilant, Frolov said.

Kovalyov has ordered regional police to investigate the incident and to bring the perpetrators to justice, according to a statement on the regional administration website Tuesday.

Kovalyov said it was necessary to establish whether the threats were related to the journalist's professional activities.

"One can either agree or disagree with what journalists say, but to insult or threaten them is unacceptable," he said in the statement.

According to Frolov, the threats could be related to an article that revealed possible corruption in the region's sports industry.

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