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Russia suspects Aidar battalion commander of mortar fire killing Russian journalists

June 26, 2014, 14:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian reporters Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed near Luhansk in mortar fire on June 17

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MOSCOW, June 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Investigative Committee suspects commander of Aidar battalion Serhiy Melnichuk of ordering mortar fire which killed journalists of central Russian state television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, spokesman of Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“Within a criminal case on use of banned ways and instruments of war, one more participant in combat actions against civilians in east Ukraine was exposed. Investigative Committee noted that during the investigation of the criminal case, commander of battalion Aidar Serhiy Melnichuk participated directly in mortar fire on peaceful territory where VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed,” Markin said.

He noted that the Investigative Committee would rule to name Melnichuk as a defendant and would put him on wanted list soon.

Aidar special force was created in May 2014 with Ukraine’s Maidan protesters making the bulk of it, media reported.

VGTRK special correspondent in Ukraine Igor Kornelyuk and video engineer Anton Voloshin were killed on June 17 coming under mortar fire near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk. Their cameraman Viktor Denisov was not wounded, because he was staying at some distance from the common group. All journalists had media identification badges.

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