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No information on Crimean Telegraph journalists’ whereabouts — Crimean vice-premier

August 26, 2014, 14:05 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
The journalists were not on an editorial assignment, Polontsky said, adding that the Crimean authorities would make attempts to get them released
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Konovalov

SIMFEROPOL, August 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The Crimean authorities have no information on the whereabouts of two journalists of the Crimean Telegraph newspaper missing in eastern Ukraine, Crimean Vice-Premier Dmitry Polonsky said on Tuesday.

“We’re trying to use our channels to get in touch with our colleagues and militiamen, but there is no information,” he said.

Reporter Yevgeniya Korolyova and photographer Maxim Vasilenko were lost on Sunday evening, August 24, when members of Ukraine’s nationalist Right Sector group had reportedly taken them off the bus by which the journalists were returning home after several days of work in the war-torn eastern city of Donetsk.

The journalists were not on an editorial assignment, Polontsky said, adding that the Crimean authorities would make attempts to get them released.

“Whether they [journalists] were on an editorial assignment or not, they are our colleagues and Crimean residents. We must exert all effort to free them and see into the matter,” he said.

This morning, unknown persons called the missing journalists’ colleagues and friends to say that Korolyova and Vasilenko had been reportedly freed and were heading home. However, the editor-in-chief of the Crimean Telegraph, Maria Volkonskaya, said there was no exact information on the whereabouts of the journalists.

“I’m sceptical [about the news of the journalists’ release]. It seems to me this was done intentionally. I want to believe they have been freed, but I don’t believe such calls,” Volkonskaya told ITAR-TASS.

About 20 journalists of Crimean and federal media are now rallying in Simferopol in support of the missing Crimean Telegraph journalists.

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