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    Journalist captured in E. Ukraine released, RT stringer remains hostage

    Updated: March 19, 2017 at 11:48 am EST  See Comments

    Graham Phillips (Photo from grahamwphillips.com)

    The RT stringer was among 4 people taken hostage in besieged Ukraine’s Donetsk – report

    ANNA news agency cameraman, Vadim Aksyonov, has been released while RT contributor Graham Phillips, a UK national, is being held captive, ANNA news told RT.

    According to the ANNA news press service, Aksyonov who was released about 3 hours ago is in “terrible state” as he hasn’t slept for a day and was tortured.

    The journalist told RT how he and his colleague – RT contributor Graham Phillips were taken hostages.

    “We were captured in [Donetsk] airport. Graham [Phillips] ran to the parking, I ran after him. Then we were taken by people with guns,” Aksyonov told RT.

    Vadim Aksyonov said he is sure that the Ukrainian army was behind their kidnapping as they were wearing its insignia.

    When they were taken to the cells at some checkpoint, they were tortured and beaten, he added.

    “At first we were kept together, then separately. I heard him [Phillips] screaming from pain and he heard me screaming, too,” he told RT.

    According to Aksyonov, their captors then took them somewhere. He heard that Phillips was dropped in the city of Krasnoarmeisk, in the Donetsk Region of eastern Ukraine.

    Aksyonov thinks that Graham Philips might be taken to either Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, or Zaporizhie, a city in southern Ukraine which borders on the Donetsk Region, or to the city of Uzhhorod in western Ukraine.

    The agency still hasn’t reveal the fate of two other hostages – an employee of the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and possibly an acquaintance of Phillips, who accompanied the journalist to the airport.

    Phillips has been reporting about the developments in Ukraine for several months now. According to research from Brandwatch social networks monitor, he has become the most popular author in Twitter reporting on the situation in Ukraine.

    It is not the first time, the RT contributor has been taken hostage. He was detained once at a checkpoint in Mariupol and held captive by Kiev military for over 36 hours in May.

    Journalists from a range of media outlets have come under fire, some of them even detained, during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. There have also been reports that Ukrainian troops have fired at people with cameras, as well as people wearing press vests.

    Russian journalists have been captured by Kiev’s forces throughout the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    In June, journalists from Russia’s Zvezda TV channel spent two days in captivity, after being detained by the Ukrainian National Guard.

    In May, two LifeNews journalists were taken hostage for two days by the National Guard, prompting an online #SaveOurGuys campaign.

    Several journalists have also been killed while covering the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

    In June, a Russian cameraman from Channel One TV, Anatoly Klyan, was shot by Kiev forces in Donetsk. Also in June, Rossiya TV journalist Igor Kornelyuk and his colleague, sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed in shelling near Lugansk.

    In May, Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed when they were caught in a mortar attack close to the village of Andreevka, a couple of kilometers from Slavyansk.

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