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Putin posthumously awards TV journalist Klyan with Order of Courage

July 02, 2014, 12:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Anatoly Klyan, who worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound when his bus came under mortar fire in Donetsk June 29
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Anatoly Klyan

Anatoly Klyan

© AP Photo/Russian Chanel One via APTN

MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to posthumously award the Order of Courage to television journalist Anatoly Klyan, who was killed three days ago in the embattled southeastern Ukraine, Alexei Gromov, a deputy head of the presidential staff, said on Wednesday.

The journalist, who worked for the television for over 40 years, was awarded the order “for the courage and heroism in carrying out professional duties,” the Kremlin added.

Klyan, 68, was among other journalists on a bus on Sunday (June 29) night with mothers of military conscripts going to a pro-Kiev military unit in the Donetsk Region to demand the off-duty release of their sons, when the vehicle came under gunfire. Klyan, who worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound in the abdomen and died upon his hospitalization.

Speaking at a memorial service to pay last respects to Klyan on Wednesday, Gromov said the journalist “did a lot for his country.”

“The country will remember him and we will always remember him,” the official said.

Gromov added that he personally knew Klyan and describing the late journalist the official said he was a person of “an absolute tactfulness, politeness, deep dignity sense, high professionalism and of rare humane qualities.”

The Russian journalist’s murder has been already condemned by the Russian authorities as well as by international officials and organizations, including the French Foreign Ministry, the Bulgarian Union of Journalists, UNESCO and many others.

Two correspondents from Russian central television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17.

They came under mortar fire near a roadblock of militia as they were filming a TV report about people’s militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone. Journalists bore clearly visible media insignia at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew. Sound engineer Voloshin died at the scene and Kornelyuk died later at a local hospital.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia since April as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.

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