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20May14


British stringer for Russia Today detained in south-eastern Ukraine


British journalist Graham Phillips, freelancing for Russia Today (RT) international news television channel, has been detained in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol by the country's National Guard, RT reported on Tuesday on its website.

"I'm sitting at a blockade post in a portacabin. The dialogue is quite interrogation oriented," Phillips was quoted as saying over telephone.

The journalist said he was fairly treated by Ukrainian law enforcers but he himself as well as his car were searched and his laptop was confiscated.

"I'm being treated OK by themů They found my reports and clips I've done and they're now looking through them asking me my position on things, asking if I'm a spy, and asking me quite thorough questions," RT quoted Phillips as saying.

"They've taken my bulletproof jacket and my helmet, but on the other hand they haven't in any way inflicted any form of injury or any actions on my person," he added.

According to RT, two weeks ago Ukraine's Right Sector radical movement offered a bounty for catching Phillips, promising $100,000 for the capture of "Russian spy."

The British Foreign Office stated to an ITAR-TASS correspondent that it was aware of the situation with Phillips, but had no comments as of yet.

The case with Phillips comes in the wake of the detention of two Russian journalists by Ukraine's pro-Kiev law enforcers several days ago.

Two journalists working for the LifeNews television channel, Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saychenko, were detained by the Ukrainian law enforcers near Kramatorsk. The journalists had last contacted their colleagues at LifeNews on Sunday. A day earlier Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security Council Viktoria Syumar accused them of terrorism incitement in the Donetsk region.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine's Russian-speaking south-eastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 20May14]

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