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Ukrainian officer charged for giving order to kill Russian journalist

February 27, 13:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Investigative Committee has charged a senior Ukrainian army officer with organizing the murder of a Russian TV cameraman nearly four years ago

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has charged a senior Ukrainian army officer with organizing the murder of a Russian TV cameraman nearly four years ago.

According to the IC’s spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, the incident in which TV cameraman Anatoly Klyan of Russia’s nationwide TV station, Channel 1, suffered lethal gunshot wounds, occurred between the town of Avdeyevka and the village of Spartak, in the Yasinovataya district of the Donetsk Region, in eastern Ukraine in the small hours of June 30. Klyan was among the journalists from both Russian and Ukrainian TV channels who were accompanying a group of women whose sons, despite being drafted into the Ukrainian army had refused to participate in the military crackdown in the country’s eastern regions, defying the controversial coup in Kiev months earlier. The group of soldiers’ mothers arrived for talks with the military unit’s commanders by bus. The accompanying reporters, Klyan among them, were in the same vehicle.

When the bus stopped at the garrison’s gate, the unit’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Malomen twice ordered his subordinates, armed with 7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifles, to open fire, although he was well aware there were only unarmed civilians inside. Lethally wounded, Klyan died in an ambulance van on the way to hospital.

The Investigative Committee’s special office for crimes related to the use of illegal means and methods of warfare charged Lieutenant Colonel Malomen "in absentia with masterminding the killing of a person in connection with the latter’s professional activity," Petrenko said.

At the moment of the incident Malomen was the commander of a battalion of the Donetsk air defense regiment (military unit A-1428).

According to the investigators, Malomen had armed a group of his subordinates and supplied them with ammunition many hours before the June 29-30 overnight incident and issued orders to shoot to kill without warning should they notice any armed persons or civilians approach the garrison.

"The investigators are continuing persistent efforts with the aim of identifying other accomplices in this and other crimes committed by the Ukrainian military against Russian citizens," Petrenko added.

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