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MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) - Syrian rebels have posted in the worldwide web the photo of a Russian national, Konstantin Zhuravlev, who was abducted in the north of Syria near the Turkish border in early October. The photo features Zhuravlev holding a poster with a date “19.10.2013.” Apart from that, they posted the photo of Zhuravlev’s passport.
Syria’s Islamic group Liwa al-Tawhid Brigades, which has links with the Al Qaeda network, has claimed responsibility for capturing the Russian citizen, whom they accuse of espionage in favor of Russia and Syria.
Konstantin Zhuravlev, 32, a resident of the Russian Siberian city of Tomsk, entered the Syrian territory illegally, thus having breached the local laws, and might be punished by a term in prison, a Syrian security officer told Itar-Tass earlier. In this case, the Syria state is not responsible for the fate of the Russian citizen but taking into account the current state of Russia-Syria relations, official Damascus promised to do its best to release the man.
Zhuravlev came to Syria as part of his Tete-a-tete with the Desert project. He launched the project in the autumn of 2012 and planned to walk all the way to the Sahara to live 21 days in the desert “in absolute solitude, blindfolded and with the ears stopped up.”