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Shelling of OSCE monitors and journalists in Donbass causes serious concern - diplomat

December 27, 2015, 20:21 UTC+3
"These reports are preliminary, the circumstances of the incident are yet to be thoroughly investigated", - said Konstantin Dolgov
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Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of the law Konstantin Dolgov

Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of the law Konstantin Dolgov

© Archive/Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The shelling of Russian journalists who accompanied monitors of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) near the village of Kominetrnovo in Donbass causes serious concerns, Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of the law Konstantin Dolgov said on Sunday.

"These reports are preliminary, the circumstances of the incident are yet to be thoroughly investigated. But judging by the available information, a group of OSCE monitors and Russian journalists who were accompanies by the militias came under fire. First, one shot was fired, then another, including from mortars," he said. "bearing in mind the available information and the general bad history of the work of journalists in Donbass, another shelling of journalists causes serious concern."

The Russian diplomat noted that over the course of the conflict in Donbass many Russian journalists had been killed in shelling by Ukrainian troops and neo-Nazi battalions. "It is necessary to investigate this incident, it is necessary to identify those responsible , those who systematically open fire at journalists," Dolgov said. "I would like to stress in connection with this situation that, regrettably, not a single murder of Russian journalists, not a single incident when journalists from a number of other countries came under fire from Ukrainian troops, radical nationalists and neo-Nazi battalions has been investigated. No one has been punished."

Earlier on Sunday, reported from Russia’s VGTRK broadcaster said they had come under fire when they were accompanying monitors of the OSCE mission near Kominetrnovo. According to the journalists, fire had first been opened from firearms and after they and the OSCE monitors had left the village mortar fire was opened.

The OSCE SMM confirmed reports that its monitors had come under gunfire but did not specify from which side the fire had been opened. Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), who accompanied the OSCE monitors, said the shelling had come from the positions of the Ukrainian army.

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