SIMFEROPOL, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – The Kirovohrad special forces might have been involved in the death of International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya photojournalist Andrei Stenin, a commanding officer of one of the Donetsk People's Republic's military units told RIA Novosti on Friday.
"That night when the connection with the headquarters was restored, we were ordered to return to Donetsk via the city of Snizhne. At 5 a.m. we left Dmytrivka and on our way to Snizhne we came across the Ukrainian troops near the village of Rozsypne. We later found out that it was a unit of the Kirovohrad special forces. Scouts were killed at once, our car was breaking through the ambush. Once we had broken through, we saw the shot-up civilian vehicles," the officer said.
"The Kirovohrad special forces shot everyone. They did not stop the cars to inspect them, they simply shot everyone who was going from Snizhne and Dmytrivka," he added.
"The Kirovohrad special forces shot everyone, which is why speculations linking Stenin's death to independence fighters are a lie. Firstly, there were no independence fighters in that area. We had not been controlling the route where Stenin died since the morning of August 6. The Ukrainian military shelled the area first and then their blocking detachments shot everyone indiscriminately," the commanding officer said.
Stenin went missing in eastern Ukraine on August 5. Sources suggested that the Ukrainian military could have detained the journalist, but Kiev never officially confirmed the information.
On September 3, Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev said that, according to information from the Russian Investigative Committee, Stenin died about a month ago near Donetsk when the car he was traveling in while on an editorial assignment was shot at and torched on a highway just outside the city.
A farewell ceremony for Stenin was held on September 5 at the Rossiya Segodnya international press center. Stenin was buried at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in Moscow.