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Russian Foreign Ministry demands immediate release of LifeNews reporters in Ukraine

January 30, 2015, 17:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW January, 30. /TASS
A criminal case has been opened in Russia over the abduction of LifeNews television channel journalists in Kiev
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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© ITAR-TASS/Gennadiy Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry demands LifeNews reporters who were detained in Ukraine be immediately released and media intimidation be stopped, the ministry’s said on Friday.

A correspondent and a camera operator of the LifeNews television channel, Elizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva, were detained by Ukrainian Security Service officers in Kiev on Friday. The editorial staff said there was no contact with the reporters and their whereabouts were not known.

"There is no contact with them and their whereabouts are yet unknown," the ministry confirmed.

"Notably, this is not the first case of impeding professional activities of Russian journalists by both Ukrainian radicals and by state structures," the ministry noted. "LifeNews reporters were attacked whereas Ukrainian law enforcers were inactive, they had to face artificial administrative barriers."

"We demand the Russian journalists be immediately released and the malpractice of media intimidation be stopped," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed. Moscow expects "a reaction from specialized international organizations and, first of all, from OSCE /Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/ representative on media freedom Dunja Mijatovic to another unlawful incident on the part of the Kiev authorities seeking to conceal Ukraine’s information space from unbiased views on what is happening in the country," the ministry said.

Criminal case opened over the incident

A criminal case has been opened in Russia over the abduction of LifeNews television channel journalists in Kiev, Spokesman for the Russian Investigations Committee Vladimir Markin told TASS on Friday.

He said the criminal case had been opened on charges of impeding professional activities of journalists and abduction.

According to investigators, a correspondent and a camera operator of the LifeNews television channel, Elizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva, were detained by Ukrainian Security Service officers in Kiev on Friday. The editorial staff said there was no contact with the reporters and their whereabouts were not known.

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