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Russian reporter disappears in Syria

January 30, 2012, 17:04 UTC+3
Russian reporter Alexander Rybin, who provided regular reports for Tajikistan's independent weekly disappeared in Syria
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DUSHANBE, January 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian reporter Alexander Rybin, who provided regular reports for Tajikistan's independent weekly Biznes i Politika (Business & Politics) disappeared in Syria, the weekly's editor in chief Djamshed Ulmasov told Itar-Tass Monday.

The last time the reporter contacted the editorial office on January 18, Ulmasov said.

"We learned about Alexander's being missing from his girlfriend Anastasia Puchugina, who stayed together with him in the disturbances-torn Syria all this time," he said.

Little personal information on Alexander Rybin is available. It is known that he came to Tajikistan from Vladivostok a year ago and started cooperating with the Russian-language newspaper Business i Poliika.

Also last year, he travelled to Syria where clashes between the oppositionist forces broke out.

Rybin regularly sent reports from Damascus, Tartus and other cities.

The last one was sent on January 18, and after that Pichugina and he went to the town of Latakiyah.

"January 20, Alexander went to town to gather information and I haven't heard anything from him ever since," she told Djamshed Ulmasov.

"We asked Anastasia to contact the Russian embassy in Damascus immediately, and on our part we've informed the Russian embassy in Dushanbe, since Alexander has a Russian passport," Ulmasov told Itar-Tass

In the meantime, diplomats at the Russian embassy said they are "monitoring the situation and awaiting a written petition from the editorial office on the essence of the matter."

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