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Russian state TV company confirms camera crew shelled in Donbass

May 16, 4:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The correspondents came under grenade launcher and small arms fire
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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, archive

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) on Monday confirmed that that its journalists were shelled in Donbass.

"The camera crew of the Rossiya TV channel came under fire from Kiev’s military on the Donetsk-Gorlovka highway in the area of the Yasinovataya roadblock. The information about the incident was confirmed by VGTRK correspondent Stanislav Nazarov," a VGTRK statement said.

The journalist said the camera crew headed to the locality of Yasinovataya, which is one of the Donbass’s hottest spots. They were escorted by self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) special units soldiers. After shooting started, the report said, the correspondents hid in dugouts. In some 40 minutes they left the area.

Earlier, the DPR Defense Ministry said that on May 15 at about 17:00 local time, a Rossiya television channel group came under mortar shelling on the part of the Ukrainian army near the Yasinovataya roadblock. The ministry said the correspondents also came under grenade launcher and small arms fire.

Participants of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine on April 29 agreed on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter to establish a regular "regime of silence" starting from midnight April 30. But the militia and Kiev’s army keep accusing each other of truce violations.

Participants of the Contact Group on February 12, 2015 signed in Minsk the Package of Measures on implementation of the Minsk Agreements, earlier agreed with members of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).

The document, dubbed "Minsk-2", envisions in particular pardon through enactment of a law forbidding persecution and punishment of people in relation to events in Donbass, cessation of fire, withdrawal of heavy armaments from the contact line.

It also stipulates start of dialogue on restoration of social and economic ties of Kiev and Donbass, as well as reform of the Ukrainian constitution aimed at decentralization and strengthening of the "special status of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions".

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