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Ukraine law enforcers hand over LifeNews journalists in handcuffs - Chechnya leader

“They [journalists] were passed to us at a private house, at a courtyard, in a car, in masks, in bags and in handcuffs", Kadyrov said

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian law enforcers have handed over detained journalists of TV news channel LifeNews in handcuffs and with bags on heads, leader of the Russian North Caucasian Republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov said in an interview with anchorman of TV channel Rossiya programme News on Saturday Sergey Brilev on Saturday.

Ukrainian law enforcers detained LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko near the city of Kramatorsk in east Ukraine’s Donetsk Region on May 18 on suspicions of abetment to terrorism. The two journalists were released a week later with Kadyrov’s remarkable mediating role. Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Kadyrov personally for this action. Under the Russian presidential decree Sidyakin and Saichenko were awarded with the Orders of Valour for courage showed in performance of professional duty.

“They [journalists] were passed to us at a private house, at a courtyard, in a car, in masks, in bags and in handcuffs. We have taken them, we were said not to take off handcuffs and sacks from heads until we come at the airport. When we came at the airport, customs officers were very much surprised when they saw us. They did not let us go [at the airport to get on board the airplane]. I do not know where UN and OSCE officials were at that moment,” the Chechen leader said.

He noted that Ukrainian statements that the release of Russian journalists became possible thanks to UN’s and OSCE’s interference were wrong, as LifeNews journalists were freed as a result of direct talks with several representatives of new Kiev authorities.

“People who had worked with us, they really wanted to set them free, they were really ready for a long time to release them. There are different movements there, some of them sold out to Europe, some sold out to the West, some others sold out to themselves, the situation is unclear. A tangled situation and therefore people who passed them to us, they turned out to be really wise. They said that they would give our journalists to us. And that’s all,” Kadyrov added.