MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - Self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) are verifying the reports about the detention of journalists from АNNA-News information agency and RT television by the Ukrainian National Guard, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic Alexander Boroday told RIA Novosti.
“It is news to me. I cannot confirm it yet. Will be checking,” Boroday said.
DPR’s press service has earlier told RIA Novosti that on Tuesday night RT’s British stringer Graham Phillips and his colleagues headed toward in Donetsk airport - currently the most active warzone in the regional center besieged by Kiev’s troops - amid a firefight. Phillips and one of his colleagues decided to get closer to Kiev forces positions. In a short while his colleague made a call with Phillips’ cell phone saying that “Phillips was taken.”
According to Donetsk’s press service, Phillips’ colleague remained in the building of a supermarket fearing to get under fire. But since then the contact with him was lost.
ANNA-News information agency reported that it couldn’t get in touch with its cameraman who worked with Graham Phillips in the area of Donetsk airport and stopped answering his phone at approximately the same time. ANNA-News reported that the journalists were taken hostage by the Ukrainian military.
Phillips has become the most popular author in Twitter reporting on the situation in Ukraine, according to research from Brandwatch social networks monitor.
The detention of RT and ANNA-News journalists is not the first incident with the Russian journalists in Ukraine. In May Graham Phillips was detained in Ukraine for filming classified facilities in breach of the country’s anti-terror legislation.
Correspondent for Russia’s state-owned VGTRK media holding Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed by mortar fire near the city of Luhansk in late June. Journalists of LifeNews, Russia’s Channel-1, VGTRK and other Russian media outlets have been shelled and wounded while covering the conflict in Ukraine.