Wednesday, May 6, 2015   

Freed Russian journalists claim beatings in Ukraine
(06-17 17:43)

Two journalists working for Russian state television, who were released after three days of detention in Ukraine, claimed that Ukrainian nationalists beat them and extorted money.
Nikita Konashenkov and Yevgeny Davydov, who work for the channel Zvezda (Star) operated by Russia's defense ministry, said they were detained at a checkpoint in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine on Saturday and taken to the basement of a building where they were questioned by members of Right Sector, an ultra-nationalist movement.
They said the Ukrainian nationalists threatened to kill them and demanded US$200,000 for their freedom.
''If they didn't like my answers, they hit me,'' said Davydov, who came to the press conference from a hospital where he was being treated for a ruptured ear drum. Both young men had a black eye.
In another twist, Zvezda director Alexei Pimanov said the questioning was heard in Moscow via telephone and recorded, which was also how the channel found out the reporters' location before contacting Ukrainian officials.
A Right Sector spokesman confirmed that the two Russian reporters were detained over the weekend and said they were handed over to the Ukrainian security service (SBU).--AFP
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