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Putin posthumously awards Order of Courage to press photographer Andrei Stenin

September 05, 2014, 11:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Andrey Stenin had stopped contacting the editorial office at the beginning of August
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has issued a Decree awarding the Order of Courage (posthumously) to Andrei Stenin, press photographer of the Moscow news agency "Rossia Sevodnya", who died in Ukraine. The Decree points out that the award has been bestowed on him "for courage and heroism in the performance of his professional duty", the Kremlin press service reported.

Earlier, in a telegramme of condolence to the mother of the deceased, the Head of State emphasized that her son had fully accomplished his journalistic and human duty "by doing everything for people and the whole world to learn the truth about the tragic developments in the land of Donetsk".

Andrei Stenin had stopped contacting the editorial office at the beginning of August. Some time later, mediators had contacted the agency and the Journalists' Union of Russia, assuring them that the journalist was alive and detained by Ukrainian security forces for filming torturing the captured Ukrainian military. Ukrainian sesurity men, in particual, had suggested exchanging the press photographer for another person. Meanwhile, contradictory information about the fate of Stenin had been coming in from Ukrainian authorities. People staged numerous actions in a demand for release of the press photographer who was reckoned detained.

However, as was indicated by expert examination findings made public on September 3, Stenin had been killed a monh ago on the outskirts of the town of Snezhnoye in Donetsk Region during the shelling of a motor convoy by Ukrainian military. The area with destroyed vehicles and dead bodies of victims were then shelled by rocket-assisted salvo firing systems Grad.

It was only on August 27 that members of militias managed to convey a wrappage with fragments of the burnt remains of five human bodies, found in a destroyed vehicle, to Russian investigators. The remains were then sent to Russian experts who drew conclusions that part of the remains were those of Andrey Stenin.

Andrei Stenin was 33 years of age. He had started his journalistic activities in Rossiiskaya Gazeta. Beginning from 2008, he as a stringer, took photographs for the world's leading news agencies and in 2009 he became a press photographer at the RIA Novosti (Moscow news agency "Rossia Sevodnya"). He photographed emergencies, worked in zones of combat operations, and was twice awarded the Silver Camera prize. In his last tour of duty in Donetsk Region he spent three months.

Stenin became a fourth Russian journalist who died during the military actions in Ukraine's souh-east. Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, staff members of the VGTRK radio and television network, had been killed in June during shelling near Luhansk. At the end of June, Anatoly Klyan, a cameraman of the First TV Channel, received a mortal wound during shelling near Donetsk.

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