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Forensic tests prove Russian photo reporter died in Ukraine

September 03, 2014, 9:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia's Investigative Committee has confirmed that Andrei Stenin died in a shelling attack by Ukrainian army
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev/Archive

MOSCOW, September 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Photojournalist of the Russian state-run agency Rossia Segodnya (formerly RIA Noviosti) was killed in Ukraine a month ago, the agency's Director General Dmitry Kiselyov said on Wednesday.

Andrei Stenin died in a car while going on a business trip, Kiselyov said in a statement.

"The car came under fire and burnt out on an automobile road near the city of Donetsk," the statement says. "Today a forensic examination has become known and it proves that Stenin, a 33-year-old young cheerful guy, brilliant professional and sympathetic person, was in the car."

The Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on Wednesday that Andrei Stenin was killed on the outskirts of the town of Snezhnoye in the eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region on August 6 when his car came under mortar fire of Ukrainian military.

“On August 6, he was driving a Renault Logan in a convoy of refugees’ vehicles under the guard of six militia fighters along the Snezhnoye-Dmitrovka automobile road,” the statement says. “To the north-west of the Dmitrovka locality the Ukrainian army, supposedly the 79th air mobile brigade, opened fire on the convoy from a BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle and a tank.

High-explosive shells and fire from the tank’s Kalashnikov machine guns destroyed over ten vehicles killing civilians in them, he said.

“The next day chiefs of the Ukrainian army arrived at the site,” Markin said. “They were examining the destroyed cars and searching the bodies and, according to eyewitnesses, loaded up their vehicles with things taken from the destroyed cars.”

Markin said that later Grad multiple missile launchers pounded the site.

On August 27, militiamen managed to hand over to Russian investigators a package with fragments of five badly-burnt bodies found in the Renault Logan.

The investigators are set to determine all the circumstances of Stenin’s death and identify those guilty.

Stenin, working for one of Russia’s largest state-run news agencies Rossiya Segodnya (formerly RIA Novosti), disappeared in the embattled Ukrainian south-eastern region during a business trip to the south-east of Ukraine where he was making reports from Donetsk, Sloviansk and other cities and towns. Contact with him was lost on August 5.

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