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Ukraine's military likely to have taken captive RT British stringer

British journalist Graham Phillips who is freelancing for Russia's RT channel is likely to have been taken captive by Ukrainian military, the channel said on Wednesday.

"Graham Philips, a stringer of the RT channel, who has been out of touch since last night near the city of Donetsk can have been taken captive by Ukrainian servicemen," the independent ANNA News portal said adding that Phillips had been detained along with other reporters.

At the same time, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council refuted the reports about the reporters' detention, the channel said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the RT press service told ITAR-TASS that it was trying to contact its stringer Graham Phillips but still without result.

"On Tuesday, July 22, he warned us about his plans to go to Donetsk's airport, the site of armed clashes. We asked him to stay away as it was extremely dangerous. However, he went there with a group of other reporters, according to his posts on social networks."

"At about 2 a.m. he texted 'All is fine' from his mobile but since then the channel had no contact with Graham," he said adding that the channel had not tasked Graham to go the area of the airport.

"We are doing everything possible to locate his whereabouts," the spokesman said adding that the channel "is employing all the resources."

"We are keeping in touch both with DPR (the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic) and with Ukrainian representatives but still without success," the RT said.

In May Graham Phillips was detained in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol by the country's National Guard and the channel had no contact with him, either. Only 35 hours later, the Briton was set free and reported that the Ukrainian servicemen had driven him to the south-eastern city of Zaporozhye to interview about his work for RT.

Graham Phillips has been reporting about the developments in Ukraine in recent months.

According to the Brandwatch social media monitoring and analytics platform, Phillips has become the most popular author in Twitter among the authors of posts about the situation in Ukraine.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Jul14]

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