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Three journalists missing in Donetsk oblast


Three journalists working in the area where Ukraine’s anti-terrorist operation [ATO] is underway have not been seen since August 1. 

Sergei Belous, a Ukrainian living in Serbia and writing for the weekly Pecat, disappeared on August 1, seemingly together with freelance journalist Serhiy Boiko and stringer for TV 112, Roman Hnatyuk. 

Very little information is available.  Milorada Vugelic, Chief Editor of Pecat says that 23-year-old Belous was detained, together with a friend, by the Ukrainian National Guard near the town of Ambrosiyivka.  Similar claims have also clearly been made about the other two journalists.

However Telekritika reports Oleksy Dmytrashkivsky, spokesperson for the National Guard and ATO as saying that such assertions are false.  He says that he spoke with colleagues from ATO on Aug 2 and ascertained that Hnatyuk did not obtain ATO accreditation and did not agree his route with them, making it impossible to know where he might be.  Dmytrashkivsky however says that he can confirm that the journalist did not arrive at any National Guard-controlled checkpoint.

He said that they had received no information about the other two journalists at all.

Contact with Hnatyuk was lost while he was taking part in a direct broadcast from the place where Malaysian airline MH17 fell on July 17.  He had accreditation with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic

That same day Pecat reported the disappearance of Belous, and the Association of Serbian Journalists approached the Ukrainian Independent Media Trade Union asking for help in searching for their colleague.  A Google search found very serious assertions about the nature of the Ukrainian regime as well as an interview Belous gave to the Russian State-controlled Voice of Russia in February under the title “Right Sector a threat to Ukraine” in which he makes some rather contentious assertions about the snipers on Maidan. 

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