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MOSCOW, May 25 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian journalists of LifeNews Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, who had been a week ago detained by the Kiev authorities, have been released and are returning to Moscow on Sunday. The colleagues will meet them at the TV channel’s editorial office. Representatives of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, for several days conducted negotiations in the Ukrainian capital on their release, but did not disclose this fact for security considerations, LifeNews reported on its website.
While in Grozny, Marat Saichenko spoke on the television channel about the details of their detention in Ukraine.
“We went to the aerodrome (outside Kramatorsk) in order to check the information of the local residents that the Ukrainian military had left it. “Security force officers pointed their weapons at us near it. We threw up our hands, shouting that we are journalists.” However they were tied up, loaded into a helicopter and taken to the Ukrainian army’s camp site.
“We were put into a pit, as far as we understood. We could only hear and use sense of touch, because sacks were on our heads, our hands were tied up behind the body with a rope, and our legs were taped with adhesive tape,” Saichenko said. “After that we were put into a metal box and we were riding somewhere for a very long time.”
The cameraman said that the last five days they had spent in some premise in Kiev guarded by two fighters of the Alfa special task force unit. He also said that representatives of security services to which they talked in Kiev were trying to intimidate them, saying that they would be charged with the transportation of weapons.
“Naturally, we had nothing of the kind. We only had video equipment, but at the moment when we were waiting for a helicopter they showed us the Igla man-portable air defence system and said that we were Russians and that was a Russian weapon. When they we putting us into the helicopter, I saw that the Igla weapon, wrapped up in a blanket, was also loaded with us. All the military were sure that terrorists-separatists were detained and that they were carrying this thing,” Saichenko said.
He thanked the Russian leadership and Ramzan Kadyrov for the care about their fate.
“We understood that the RF authorities would fight for us and the case would be handled at the very top. We were sure that President Putin and other leaders would help us,” Saichenko said.