The Rossiya Segodnya news agency has demanded the release of Andrei Stenin, a photographer who went missing in Ukraine earlier this week. According to an informed source, he is being held by the Ukrainian security service SBU in the city of Zaporozhye. The SBU says they have not detained the photographer.
The head of Rossiya Segodnya Dmitry Kiselev demanded the release of Andrei Stenin and proper treatment of the man. “The circumstances of previous detentions by Ukrainian security forces of journalists from Russia and other countries give us reason to believe that they can be treated improperly,” Kiselev said.
Andrei Stenin, a press photographer with Rossiya Segodnya, has been working in Donetsk, Slavyansk and other cities in the east of Ukraine. He has not been in contact with his office since 5 August. On Friday, an informed source in the east of Ukraine told RIA Novosti that Stenin was captured by the Ukrainian security forces and, according to unconfirmed reports, is now being held by the the SBU in Kiev.
Meanwhile, SBU command in the Zaporozhye region say they did not detain the photographer or any other Russian journalists. The head of Rossiya Segodnya stressed the humanitarian nature of the Stenin’s mission.
“Andrei was doing his job, working on both sides of the front in the east of Ukraine. His work has received recognition form his peers and the general public, he has been showing the truth about the suffering that has befallen Ukraine and its people no matter which side they are on. “His pictures formed part of an exhibition called ‘Fratricide’ which was held in the Moscow House of Journalists, and is about to be displayed abroad. His work is purely humanitarian in nature,” said Kiselev.
The general director of the Russian news organisation said he expects that his colleagues in other countries to raise their voice for the liberation of Andrei Stenin. “We appeal to our colleagues from Russia and other countries to support our call for the release of Andrei. We are looking forward to a concerted manifestation of professional and human solidarity,” he said.