Ukraine, journalist Oles Buzina
Ukraine, journalist Oles BuzinaYouTube Screenshot

Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina, 46, was reportedly shot dead on Thursday by two masked gunmen in Kiev near his house.

Ukrainian interior ministry confirmed in a statement that the popular journalist was shot dead at 1:20pm local time (11:20am GMT) at the entrance of his house in Shevchenko district of the Ukrainian capital, Reuters reported.

"Today at 1320 (1020 GMT) ... two unidentifiable men in masks shot journalist Oles Buzina," the interior ministry said, adding that a team of police investigators was at the scene.

Adviser to the Minister of the Interior, Anton Gerashchenko in Facebook post said the attackers came in a blue Ford car. He also stated that the gunmen were either Latvian or Belorussian. "But not Ukrainian," he said.

Social media reports claim that the journalist was killed execution style with "..two bullets in head." 

Oles Buzina, an opposition journalist, known for his pro- Russian stance, was critical of Poroshenko's government, a Sputnik news report noted.

Buzina, who often courted controversy not only for his pro-Russian stance, but also through his books. He was severely criticised for his book on Ukrainian poet and respected political figure Taras Shevchenko, in which he portrayed Shevchenko as an alcoholic and 'awkward' womaniser.

Buzina also ran in 2014 election for a parliamentary seat for the Russian Bloc party, but had lost out.

The shooting death of the Ukrainian journalist was also mentioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a live call-in show.

"This is not the first political assassination. Ukraine is dealing with a whole string of such murders," Putin said during his annual call-in in Moscow, when asked about the murder.

The killing of the journalist comes a day after a former Ukrainian MP and a vocal critic of the country's ruling government was found dead outside his apartment in Kiev on Wednesday.

Oleh Kalashnikov, a Ukrainian MP and a member of the Party of Regions, was also assassinated on Wednesday evening near his residence in Kiev.

Ukrainian interior ministry on Wednesday reported that Kalashnikov, a former ally of deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, died of gunshot wounds. 

In the last two months, several former officials from Yanukovych's have died in various circumstances, six of them were marked off as suicide.

Twitter Reactions

Benjamin Asoro ‏@iambenasoro 

 Rоssa S.Ferrari ‏@RossaSF1

RIP #OlesBuzina
he was killed by ukrainian fascists regime for the TRUTH!

 Maxim Tucker ‏@MaxRTucker

Whatever his views, the drive-by assassination of ex-chief editor of 'Today' #OlesBuzina a critical moment for journalism in #Ukraine