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Russian TV channel to punish reporter for burning grass in Siberia amid raging wildfires

April 23, 2015, 19:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A reporter was detained by local police for allegedly setting grass on fire to get a spectacular background for his stand-up report
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© Alexander Kolbasov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The Russian state-run TV Channel One will punish its reporter detained for burning dry grass in the Siberian Republic of Khakassia hit by wildfires, the channel's spokesperson said on Thursday.

Mikhail Akimchenko was detained by local police for allegedly setting grass on fire to get a spectacular background for his stand-up report, Khakassian media said.

However, the Channel One spokesperson denied the allegations saying that Akimchenko had dropped a cigarette butt setting the grass on fire.

"We apologise for the incident," she said.

Wildfires in Khakassia that left 34 people dead and 4,700 homeless started after mass grass burning by locals. The fire damage is estimated at 7 billion roubles ($140 million).

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