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Russia's Federation Council appeals to Ukrainian parliament demanding journalists release

May 20, 2014, 20:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Last straw is when Russian journalists are detained and accused of espionage and terrorism - I think that’s the limit,” first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international committee says
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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

MOSCOW, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house plans to make an appeal to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, demanding an immediate release for journalists from the Russian LifeNews television channel who were detained near Ukraine’s Kramatork. The move was initiated by first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international committee Vladimir Dzhabarov at a Tuesday meeting of the commission on monitoring the situation in Ukraine.

Dzhabarov condemned Ukraine’s leaders who call their citizens terrorists. “To my mind, terrorist are those who blew up residential houses in Moscow and Buinaksk, those who seized a hospital in Budennovsk, such people as Basayev and Raduyev,” he said, adding he had never heard of any “act of terror committed by citizens.”

“The last straw is when Russian journalists are detained and accused of espionage and terrorism - I think that’s the limit,” he stressed and suggested that the Federation Council at its Wednesday session should word an appeal to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada demanding immediate release for Russian journalists.

Journalists from the Russian television channel LifeNews, Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, were detained by Ukraine’s National Guards near Kramatorsk, Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. The journalists last contacted their colleagues at LifeNews on Sunday, May 18.

Deputy secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council Viktoria Syumar accused them of abetting terrorism, claiming they were “members of terrorist groups.” “The country’s law enforcers are drawing corresponding documents in respect of the Russian journalists,” she said.

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