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MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Roman Tsimbalyuk, a reporter with Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that he had been released shortly after being held by Moscow police.
"Thanks to everyone who supported us. We were released," Tsimbalyuk said.
Earlier today, Tsimbalyuk wrote on his Facebook page that he, along with cameraman Nikita Borodin, was detained on the premises of the Moscow State University while making his report. UNIAN described the move as unlawful, saying that officers prevented the reporter from carrying out his professional duty. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry described the situation as "a provocation" and said a consul was already on his way to the police station where Tsimbalyuk was kept.
The situation triggered a swift response from Russian officials as well. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said the ministry is handling the matter.
"Roman Tsimbalyuk, I saw a post about your detention. We are looking into the situation," she wrote on Facebook.
Although Moscow police officials were not immediately available for a comment, anonymous law-enforcement sources dismissed reports of the detention, saying that the reporter was taken to a police department "for an identity check."
"His documents were checked, as well as the status of his residence in Russia," a source said.