MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) -There is no excuse when journalists become victims of politics, Nikolay Svanidze, a member of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council, said, addressing the situation surrounding Rossiya Segodnya photojournalist Andrei Stenin, who went missing in Ukraine.
“The situation is very bad. There is absolutely no reason for optimism, when the journalists become victims of politics and interstate relations – this is very bad, and there truly cannot be any excuse for this,” Svanidze told RIA Novosti.
A journalist, no matter what his position may be, cannot become a subject of repressions, given that he or she is not a participant in the conflict, he said.
Last week, an informed source in the eastern Ukraine has told RIA Novosti that Stenin, who went missing on August 5, was captured by the Ukrainian military and is supposedly detained by the country’s Security Service in the Zaporizhia Region.
Commenting on the situation, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is trying its best to secure the journalist’s return.
Rossiya Segodnya’s director general Dmitry Kiselev has emphasized the humanitarian nature of Stenin’s work, saying that the journalist was depicting both sides of the conflict.
On August 9, Rossiya Segodnya submitted an application to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, requesting to take urgent measures to find Stenin. Rossiya Segodnya has also launched a #FreeAndrew campaign to supported the captive photographer as well as to attract the public attention to the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine.