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At least 4 Russian TV crews reported on bus under gunfire in eastern Ukraine

June 30, 2014, 12:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
MIR-24 TV channel crew was also attacked; REN-TV and LifeNews crews were in the same bus with late Channel One cameraman
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Several Russian television filming crews were in the bus, which came under gunfire late Sunday night in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region. MIR-24 television channel reported this on its website on Monday after Channel One announced that one of its employees was killed in the attack.

Anatoly Klyan, 68, was among other journalists on the bus together with mothers of military conscripts on their way to a pro-Kiev military unit to demand the off-duty release of their sons, when the vehicle came under gunfire. Klyan, a cameraman for Russia’s TV Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound in the abdomen and died upon his hospitalization.

“Several filming crews, including journalists from the MIR-24 TV channel, came under fire in Donetsk,” the television channel said on its website. “Our correspondent Alexander Leonenko was on duty at that time.”

Russia’s state-run TV broadcaster Channel One, reported earlier that besides its filming crew on the bus there were also journalists from Russia’s REN-TV and LifeNews television channels. None of them were wounded in the attack.

The driver of the bus was also reported to sustain a gun wound but he managed to drive the bullet-ridden vehicle with civilians to a safe place.

Vladimir Markin, spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee, earlier announced that a criminal case had been filed into Klyan’s murder. He said the criminal case was filed on charges of warfare methods abuse and intended murder of a person carrying out professional duty.

A staff member of the Russian television channel is another casualty at the hands of the Ukrainian authorities, which brutally ignore internationally accepted norms concerning the protection of peaceful citizens during armed conflicts,” Markin said.


Recent cases of violence against journalists in Ukraine

Klyan’s murder is another case in a chain of lethal attacks on journalists in the ongoing combat operation, which Ukrainian authorities are conducting in southeast Ukraine.

Two correspondents from Russian central television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17.

They came under mortar fire near a roadblock of militia as they were filming a TV report about people’s militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone. Journalists bore clearly visible media insignia at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew. Sound engineer Voloshin died at the scene and Kornelyuk died later at a local hospital.

On May 24, Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed in mortar fire near the city of Sloviansk.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.

June 20, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared a week-long ceasefire in the country’s embattled southeast and on Sunday he announced a three-day extension of the ceasefire. However, there have been numerous reports that the truce has been violated.

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