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MOSCOW, July 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Channel 5 TV crew came under fire in Russia’s Rostov region rather than in southeast Ukraine as previously reported. None of the journalists was hurt, the channel’s political observer, Vitaly Voronin, said on Friday.“I would like to calm everybody down. We are safe and sound. I am the cameraman. We were right in the epicenter of the shooting,” the journalist said on air of Channel 5. He denied previous reports that a Russian customs checkpoint had come under fire.
“They targeted a territory located almost 3 kilometers away near an abandoned mine on the outskirts of the Devyatkin village. Eight explosions roared one after another some 500 meters away. We were nearby at that time making a film about the refugees,” Voronin explained.
Initially, it was reported that a shell that had come from the Ukrainian territory had not burst. “We headed for the designated area and saw a demining car of the Special Police Force. Naturally, we came close to the group in order to shoot the demining process,” Voronin added.
Then, he said, the crew saw law enforcers, the OMON policemen, the troopers and investigators running away from the crater. The first explosion occurred 20 seconds later,” Voronin went on to say.
"We thought that the shell that had not burst finally detonated. But it was a real artillery shelling with another seven shells landing nearby,” the Russian journalist said.
He declined to comment where the fire had come from — mortars, tanks or artillery guns. One of the details he has mentioned was that the explosions were strong and powerful.
“We had an impression that the Ukrainian side had fired shells into the investigators who had arrived in a big white car which was too distinguished among the bushes and roads. It seemed that they were purposefully targeting the car and that we just caught it in the neck,” the journalist emphasized.
According to Voronin, “the shooting was over very quickly.” “The local residents told us the Ukrainian side was regularly shooting into the northern part of the Donetsk city located in Russia’s Rostov region. At first, it was just one shell that landed in the Russian territory. Another shell flew in a day after. Finally, a massive artillery attack was launched,” Voronin said.
“There were eight explosions. Luckily, no one was hurt. The locals say the (Russian authorities) could have detained a spotter who could have been located close to the scene and adjusted the fire coming from the Ukrainian side. We are at the scene now. We are going to show the details in our news programs,” the journalist said in conclusion.
Channel One journalists have recently come under fire near Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine. None of them were injured.
Klyan was not the first Russian journalist to die during the punitive operation which the troopers loyal to Kiev are carrying out in southeast Ukraine. In June, VGTRK reporter Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin died under shells near the Metallist village in the Luhansk region.