MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti) – RT contributing journalist Graham Phillips, who was released by Ukraine’s security service Thursday, said two other reporters being held by the Kiev government are safe.
Phillips was detained in Ukraine for filming classified facilities in breach of the country’s anti-terror legislation Tuesday. He was handed over to the consul of the British embassy in Kiev on Thursday.
He met with Ukrainian authorities to have his belongings returned, and to make a further appeal for the immediate release of his colleagues, LifeNews reporters Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko.
“Asked about situation with @lifenews_ru colleagues Oleg and Marat. Was told they are ok, but no further information available, it is 'matter between Kiev and Moscow',” Phillips wrote on Twitter.
Phillips told RIA Novosti he would leave the country soon and plans to cover the FIFAWorld Cup in Brazil, adding that he looks forward to future cooperation with RT.
Over the past two months, reporters of Russia’s leading media agencies have been kidnapped, beaten, threatened and denied access to Ukraine. Broadcasting of Russian media has also been banned across the country.
LifeNews journalists Sidyakin and Saichenko were detained May 18 by the Ukrainian National Guard near the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region after they caught on camera a UN-marked military helicopter apparently used in a special operation targeting demonstrators. They were accused of assisting terrorism in the region.
Their current whereabouts are unknown. Russian authorities have repeatedly issued calls for their freedom.