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Investigators Treating Suspicious Death of St. Petersburg Journalist As Murder

The Russian Investigative Committee is treating the death of prominent Russian journalist Dmitry Tsilikin, whose body was found in his St. Petersburg apartment on Thursday evening, as a homicide, the Committee said in a statement Friday.

The professional activity of the journalist has not been named among the primary reasons by the investigation or the journalist community, although the possibility is being considered.

According to Tsilikin's colleagues, the well-known music critic had been missing since the end of last week, before his relatives found his body in his own apartment in St. Petersburg.

The police said that Tsilikin was killed at least two days ago. According to preliminary data, his death was a result of severe blood loss. Tsilikin suffered multiple stab wounds and his tendons were cut, furniture in the apartment was blood stained and Tsilikin's laptop and phone were missing from the apartment, the police reported.

A criminal case into the murder has been opened. The investigation of the case has been put under the control of the St. Petersburg Main Investigations Directorate for Russia's Investigative Committee.

The news about the violent murder of the journalist in his own apartment came as a shock for his friends and colleagues.

According to Yelena Volgust, a journalist at St. Petersburg's Theater Magazine, Tsilikin let people that he knew well into his home.

“There were no bohemian gatherings or parties that are held by 90 percent of creative people of all ages. Therefore, information about his “murder” doesn't make any sense to me. Who entered his house?” Volgust wrote on her Facebook page.

The head of the Russian Union for Journalists, Vsevolod Bogdanov, commenting on Tsilikin's murder, expressed his hopes that the crime would be thoroughly investigated.

Lyudmila Fomicheva, head of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalists, called the murder of the journalist, “who had been known to all theater-goers,” a real tragedy.

When asked about the possible reasons for the murder, she said in her interview with Govorit Moskva, that all theories must be considered.

Tsilikin started his journalistic career in the early 1990s after working for eight years as an actor. He was a writer and presenter for programs on the RTR television channel, Channel Five and the radio station “Echo of Petersburg.”

In addition to that, he contributed to newspapers and magazines such as Vedomosti, Kommersant, Vogue and Elle.

According to Fomicheva, Tsilikin will be posthumously awarded with the Golden Pen journalism award on Friday.

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