Oleksiy Matsuka (Ukraine)

Oleksiy Matsuka is a veteran investigative journalist from Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. He has worked as the editor of the regional news website Novosti Donbassa, which charts politics, corruption, and abuses of authority, for the past 10 years.

In August 2011, an unidentified intruder set Matsuka’s apartment on fire following the publication of several articles on the embezzlement of public funds by senior regional officials. The attacker left a wreath on the front door inscribed with the note: “To Oleksiy, from grieving friends.”

In the summer of 2013, he started a new project called Donetskaya Pravda. It is dedicated to the investigation of public officials, local government spending, public bidding on government contracts, and corruption. Soon after launching the project, he and his coworkers endured threats, surveillance, harassment and intimidation. Their office also became the target of an unsuccessful break-in attempt, with fingerprints belonging to a violent convicted felon found on its entry’s doorframe.

Despite this history of attacks, Matsuka doggedly continues his reporting and refuses to be intimidated or silenced. Most recently, on April 12, 2014, Matsuka’s car was set on fire and his photograph was circulated captioned with the words “Attention, traitor!” It’s suspected that he was targeted by pro-Russian militants for his reporting on their conflict with Ukrainian forces, with the incident taking place just two days after he published an article, “Russia’s deep ties to Donetsk’s Kremlin collaborators,” in the Kyiv Post.

Matsuka was forced to flee Donetsk for Kyiv, where he now lives and continues to work as an investigative journalist.

Follow Oleksiy Matsuka on Twitter @alexmazuka