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Producer of Russian TV show detained in Ukraine alongside his colleague

Published time: April 24, 2014 16:23
Edited time: April 25, 2014 13:06
Stepan Chirich (Image from facebook.com)

Stepan Chirich (Image from facebook.com)

A Russian and a Belorussian national, both employees of the Russian NTV channel have been detained in the city Pershotravensk in Dnipropetrovsk region, SBU announced. Earlier it was reported that both journalists vanished.

The men were detained by Ukraine's "Dnepr" unit on Wednesday when they were filming administrative buildings on hidden cameras. The men are being investigated under article that forbids the use of "special technical means of obtaining information."

One of the men showed passport of Belarus and presented himself to be a journalists for Russian NTV channel, yet he failed to provide any press credentials. The second detainee is a Russian citizen who lives in the Lugansk region of Ukraine, Ukrainian Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said.

Earlier, RT managed to get a hold of the NTV program host who said that a Belarusian citizen Stepan Chirich, a producer for the weekly program Central Television, went to the city of Pershotravinsk in the Dnepropetrovsk region to make a report about the visit of a well-known exorcist, Pastor Bob Larson, who’s there as part of his world tour.

We lost contact with [Chirich] on Tuesday evening,” Vadim Takmenyov, the program’s host, told RT.

Chirich has been working for the program for several years.

We sent him to Ukraine – a producer, not a correspondent – because he is the only Central Television employee who has a Belarusian passport, using which one can cross the [Russian-Ukrainian] border without any problems and do his professional activities,” Takmenyov said.

Takmenyov underlined that political events in the crisis-torn country were completely unrelated to that particular trip.

A cameraman who was working with the NTV producer was from Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, who too went missing.

Earlier, the channel said that the disappearance and subsequent detention of the crew might be connected with reports about the detention of two suspected Russian “saboteurs” in Dnepropetrovsk region.

According to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, two men “pretending to be journalists” were grabbed by local militia and passed over to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) after filming a police station and the city council in Pershotravinsk.

Citing unofficial sources, the paper said the unnamed men had Belarusian passports, but equipment they used “indicated their relation to Russian intelligence.”

He said the channel sent to its colleagues in Ukraine documents proving that Chirich has nothing to do with any intelligence services.

We hope [journalists in Ukraine] will report on [the incident] in one or another way, but fairly, and say that we are looking for our colleague,” the NTV journalist added in a telephone comment to RT.

Following the February coup in Kiev, Russian journalists and TV crews have repeatedly beendenied entry to Ukraine on various pretexts.The new authorities also accused several Russian television channels of propaganda and ordered local cable providers to cut them off.

Later, some providers – primarily in eastern Ukraine – resumed broadcast of Russian channels.

Earlier in April, the Russian upper house of parliament said in a statement that Russian journalists “are facing psychological and physical pressure in Ukraine” while the country’s online media reporting on the crisis “is being attacked by hackers.”

Last week, a journalist and a camerawoman for Russia’s LifeNews were detained and questionedfor many hours by Ukraine law enforcers.

Comments (11)

 

Jean-Ian Simard 01.05.2014 01:53

next year someone WILL make a movie on how putin lost it all...money,power and everything else

 

Feodora 26.04.2014 00:03

Terry Ross 25.04.2014 10:09



I watched the video of Mr O's arrest (from vice) and apparently one of the reporters had a knife and the other a gun. In the circumstances i would say that more than justifies arrest and casts doubt on their stated purpose.

Ha ving seen recent pictures of him, they must have beaten him with a feather duster. Compare that to Mr Dobkin , presidential candidate for PoR who was almost beaten to death for appearing on TV.

  


Yes, absolutely Terry, quite, I agree. Why aren't there more chaps like you on this forum? Gosh!

 

fran7 25.04.2014 13:02

USA government are backing the illegal anarchist interim government in Ukraine who are now arresting innocent journalists going about their normal work. Is this the kind of regime USA government want? The violent Kiev Neo Nazis are just a bunch of corrupt thugs (some are jailbirds) who grabbed power by creating chaos and killing unarmed people on both sides. It seems the "Millions of dollars USA government are giving" Kiev thugs is being used to hire mercenaries to attack people who do not recognizes the legality of the Kiev government as they are not representative of the Ukrainian people. Ron Paul is right.

View all comments (11)
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