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Russian diplomats in Kiev request again info on missing journalist Stenin

August 15, 2014, 16:53 UTC+3 KIEV
Russia’s largest state-run news agencies Rossiya Segodnya (formerly known as RIA Novosti) reported a week ago that its photo journalist Stenin was allegedly held captive by Ukrainian security forces
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev/archive photo

KIEV, August 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Embassy in Kiev submitted with the Ukrainian authorities this week’s second note requesting them to provide information on the whereabouts of missing Russian photo journalist Andrei Stenin, a spokesman for the diplomatic mission said on Friday.

“The note holds the request to clarify recent information that the Russian journalist was detained by Ukraine’s security services,” the spokesman said adding that the note was submitted on Friday morning.

The spokesman also said that there was still no reply to the first note from the Russian embassy, which it sent on August 11.

Russia’s largest state-run news agencies Rossiya Segodnya (formerly known as RIA Novosti) reported a week ago that its photo journalist Stenin was allegedly held captive by Ukrainian security forces after he went missing on August 5.

For a week the Ukrainian authorities ignored constant inquiries and appeals from the Russian Embassy in Ukraine, the OSCE and the International Federation of Journalists, and the European Union’s concerns.

The Ukrainian National Security Service kept silent about the journalist’s whereabouts and denied that it was holding any members of Russian mass media.

Security of journalists working in Ukraine’s war-torn southeastern regions repeatedly raised international concerns, particularly following a series killings of Russian and international journalists over the two months.

Russian television journalist Anatoly Klyan was killed in late June after a bus he was riding in with other journalists came under fire in the Donetsk Region. The 68-year-old journalist worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One and had 40 years of television work experience.

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 photo correspondent Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed in mortar fire near the city of Sloviansk.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

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