Pro-Russia journalist detained in Ukraine for 3 weeks

3rd June 2014, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine has kept a pro-Russian journalist in detention for over three weeks since security forces arrested him in the country's volatile east, his mother said Tuesday.

Artyom Larionov, 36, was detained by Ukraine's National Guard as he tried to pass a checkpoint while covering fighting between insurgents and pro-government forces at Slavyansk, the epicentre of the uprising, his mother Taissiya Larionova told AFP in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

"Artyom left for Slavyansk to film the fighting. On May 10, he departed from Slavyansk to return to Donetsk. Just before (the town of) Kramatorsk, he was arrested by soldiers from the National Guard. Since then we haven't had any news," she said.

The regions around Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, close to Donetsk, have seen the heaviest fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in recent weeks.

"Artyom had left his phone on so friends waiting for him in Kramatorsk could be sure that he passed the checkpoint without any problems. That's how they heard that he had been arrested. They rushed to the checkpoint and saw that the National Guard had arrested him, but there was nothing they could do," she said.

A spokesman of the National Guard in the city of Izyum, the headquarters of Ukrainian forces in the Slavyansk and Kramatorsk region, declined comment on the arrest.

Artyom Larionov, an independent journalist, posted videos on pro-Russian websites and on YouTube about the situation in Donetsk and areas ravaged by combat in the east of Ukraine.

© 2014 AFP

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