Russia’s Foreign Ministry is demanding the immediate release of two Russian journalists detained in eastern Ukraine by the National Guard on their way to Dnepropetrovsk Airport.
“Unidentified men” detained correspondent Evgeny Davydov and sound engineer Nikita Konashenkov at around 5 p.m. local time in the Donetsk region on Saturday, Zvezda TV channel reported. The two were on their way to Dnepropetrovsk Airport for a flight back to Moscow.
The journalists are now being held captive in the Ministry of Justice building in Dnepropetrovsk, according to Zvezda.
“Journalists of Zvezda TV channel were again detained several hours ago on the territory of Ukraine. This is the second time this week. According to our preliminary data, the guys are in the region of the city administration of Dnepropetrovsk,” said Alexey Pimenov, head of media holding company Krasnaya Zvezda.
The wife of detained journalist Evgeny Davydov, Inga, described that she had trouble reaching her husband after he was detained. Inga is a journalist for RT.
“When I just reached him by phone I could only hear unknown voices. Then my husband said: ‘This is my wife calling.’ That was all I could understand. Then I called again and he only answered my questions: that he is detained, he is safe, he won’t be coming home today. And some time ago he called me himself, he comforted me and our daughter. He said he will stay this night there and he doesn’t know where he is. And then who knows what will happen.”
The Russian channel is demanding that Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko and the Ukrainian Security Service “immediately
release our employees who were on an official business
The Russian Foreign Ministry also called for the release of the journalists. The ministry said the arrest was carried out by the National Guard. Moscow also slammed Ukraine for “continuing to encroach upon the rights of Russian mass media.”
Earlier in June, the National Guard detained two journalists from Zvezda – video operator Andrey Sushenkov and sound engineer Anton Malyshev – at a military roadblock near the city of Slavyansk. According to their driver, they were blindfolded and handcuffed during a routine check, and then taken to an undisclosed location. They were held captive for two days on accusations of espionage.
Russian journalists from a range of media outlets have been
detained during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Two Russian
journalists working for LifeNews TV channel – reporter Oleg
Sidyakin and cameraman Marat Saichenko – were captured by Kiev
forces in May near the eastern city of Kramatorsk. Following
their detention, a video appeared showing Ukrainian troops
holding the men at gunpoint and forcing them to get down on their
knees. They were investigated under charges of “aiding terrorist
groups,” according to Ukraine’s National Security and Defense
RT contributor and UK national Graham Phillips was detained by Kiev military forces at a checkpoint in the city of Mariupol on May 20. He was transferred to army barracks and interrogated by Ukrainian security forces. He was released after 36 hours.
There have also been reports that Ukrainian troops have fired at people with cameras, as well as people wearing press vests. On May 9, a Ruptly cameraman was seriously wounded during an armed assault by Kiev’s army on the Mariupol police headquarters.
Russia's commissioner for human rights, Ella Pamfilova, told RT in May that she is confused by the fact that international human rights organizations are ignoring the violations of journalists' rights that are taking place in Ukraine.
“I am perplexed and confused that the organizations highly respected by me, including international journalist and ‘Without Borders’ organizations...are suddenly bashfully closing their eyes or ignoring the rights violations of not only Russian journalists on Ukraine’s territory.”