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Moscow demands OSCE take measures to free journalists detained by Kiev

Published time: May 18, 2014 19:26
Edited time: May 18, 2014 20:51
Image from twitter user@euromaidan

Image from twitter user@euromaidan

Moscow has called on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to take measures to free the two Russian journalists captured near the town of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine.

Russia strongly condemns the detention of LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko by Kiev forces in the city of Kramatorsk, the country’s permanent representative to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin, said.

“I immediately contacted the Swiss representative to the OSCE (Switzerland is presiding over the organization in 2014) and the representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, and requested them to take immediate steps for the release of the journalists,” Kelin told Itar-Tass news agency.

Earlier, Kiev acknowledged that Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko were detained by the Ukrainian military.

The last time the crew established contact with the editorial board was at around 09:50 GMT (13:50 Moscow time) on Sunday, when they reached a checkpoint near the town of Kramatorsk.

Several hours later a photo of the handcuffed journalists appeared on social networks.

Locals recognized the place in the photo as territory belonging to the military airport near Kramatorsk, LifeNews reported.

News Media Holding, which owns LifeNews, has appealed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asking him to help with the release of the journalists, the news outlet’s website reported.

Reporter Sidyakin and cameraman Saichenko were performing their professional duties, covering events in southeastern Ukraine, when they “went missing,” the channel said in a statement.

The only thing Sidyakin managed to text was that “things look bad.”

After receiving the SMS message, the office immediately called Sidyakin, who accepted the call, but could not speak. He kept the phone connected, however, so that Moscow could hear that the journalists were being interrogated.

Since the connection was lost, all attempts to get in touch with the crew have been in vain.

A man who accompanied the LifeNews crew confirmed that the journalists were being questioned by armed men, presumably the Ukrainian military.

The same LifeNews journalists came under fire from Kiev's army last week, along with RT's video agency crew.

Sidyakin used to report for LifeNews within Russia. He covered the Volgograd terrorist acts last December. He was then sent to Ukraine to cover the political crisis in the country. He also reported from Crimea during the process of reunification with Russia.

While working in Kiev during the clashes, Sidyakin sustained a gunshot wound in the leg but never stopped his live broadcast.

Saicheko is a prominent photographer and cameraman who used to work in Libya and Syria. In the West, he is primarily known as the first person who managed to take photos of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky while he was in prison.

Comments (125)


inocencio braga 21.05.2014 14:23

Russia figure this year at 148. Place among 179 countries in the list concerning press freedom by Reporters Without Borders

rem ember journalist Anna Politkovskaya murdered by the current regime in the Kremlin, activist denouncing human rights violations in Chechnya.
Their killers were found guilty, missing catch the person behind the behest of the crime.


Matt Janovic 19.05.2014 13:13

I see below that some jerks make light about a Tatar (only one R, stupid) being detained for 8 hours. That's not nice at all, and it's stupid.
However, detention for a few hours is normal for reporters, no big deal as long as they don't mistreat you. And even being treated as bad as the RT guys are is better than the other Kiev recipe for reporters: getting buried in handcuffs, as happened to poor Vasily Sergyyenko


Matt Janovic 19.05.2014 13:05

I wonder why RT is not publishing her the video of brutish treatment of reporters. It's on at RT Spanish

View all comments (125)
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