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There is focused effort to liquidate journalists in Ukraine — Putin

July 01, 2014, 20:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At least three Russian journalists covering developments in Ukraine’s embattled southeastern regions were killed in June

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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. There is a focused effort to kill journalists in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives.

“Killing journalists is unacceptable. I reminded the Ukrainian President of this yesterday again,” Putin said.

“In my view, we are observing a focused effort to liquidate all media representatives. This applies to both Russian and foreign journalists. Who could be afraid of fair reporting? Probably those who are committing crimes. We strongly hope that the Ukrainian authorities act on their promises to carefully investigate the crimes,” he said.


Casualties among Russian journalists

At least three Russian journalists covering developments in Ukraine’s embattled southeastern regions were killed in June. The most recent tragic death of a Russian reporter came on Sunday night.

Anatoly Klyan, 68, was among other journalists on a bus with mothers of military conscripts going to a pro-Kiev military unit in the Donetsk Region to demand the return of their sons, when the vehicle came under gunfire. Klyan, who worked as a cameraman for Russian state-run television broadcaster Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound in the abdomen and died after his hospitalization.

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. The journalists had clearly visible PRESS marks at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew.

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, conducted since mid-April.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko terminated the ceasefire in the Southeast.

On June 20, Poroshenko declared a week-long ceasefire in the country’s southeastern regions and on June 27 he extended the truce by three days. However, there were numerous reports that the truce had been violated by Kiev.

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