POLITICAL REFORMS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, along with the advent of democratic governments in Croatia and Serbia, brightened the security prospects for journalists in Central Europe and the Balkans. In contrast, Russian's new government imposed press restrictions, and authoritarian regimes entrenched themselves in other countries of the former Soviet Union, particularly in Central Asia, further threatening the independent press.
CPJ confirmed that in 2000, five journalists were killed as a result of their reporting in Europe and Central Asia. In Russia, two journalists were killed in Chechnya, and one in Moscow. (CPJ could not confirm the motives for the killings of four other journalists in Russia during the year.) In Ukraine, the disappearance and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze highlighted the extreme vulnerability of independent journalists in that country. And in a rare Western European case, a Spanish journalist was killed in response to his coverage of the Basque separatist group ETA.