Exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky announced he would no longer fund the TsUR investigative news site following the murder of three Russian television journalists while on assignment for the publication in the Central African Republic.
Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko were investigating the private military Wagner group for Khodorkovsky-financed TsUR when they were killed in an ambush last month. Advocates from Reporters Without Borders raised concerns that the journalists’ reporting could have motivated the attack.
“I’m ceasing support for the Investigation Control Center [TsUR] as an investor,” Khodorkovsky wrote in an announcement posted on MBKh, which he also finances, on Wednesday.
Khodorkovsky said he had reason to believe the group was the victim of a “planned operation,” but added that the outlet’s production team was partially at fault for the tragic outcome of the reporting trip over errors in choosing a local fixer.
“Even partial blame is too much in this case,” he wrote, adding that he had accepted the resignation of the chief editor of TsUR, Andrei Konyakhin.
“I want to repeat that I’m not absconding my part of the responsibility for the deaths of Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko. This is my pain too,” Khodorkovsky wrote.
The businessman vowed to find the people responsible for the killing and offered a financial reward for information about the crime.