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Pavel Kanygin, arrested earlier today in Ukraine by “state security agents” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” was deported to Russia. He got in touch with his editors at Novaya Gazeta this evening at 20:30 Moscow time, Novaya Gazeta reported.
A photo of him at the border checkpoint showed he was bruised and bandaged, and Novaya Gazeta reports that while he was detained they had not wanted to report it, but he was beaten and his brow was lacerated.
Kanygin said that he was driven to a location not far from the
Russian-Ukrainian Matveyev Kurgan border crossing. There FSB officers at
the border crossing spoke with him.
The following is a translation by The Interpreter of his account:
I was taken to the Ministry for State Security, their officer aimed a
pistol at me and said that if I moved, he would shoot me. After that he
asked: was I for them or for the Ukropy [dillweeds, a pejorative term
for Ukrainians–The Interpreter]. I said that I was for peace.
That was the moment he punched me in the eye with his fist. He hit me
hard, winding up his arm. After that, I was immediately taken for
interrogation. There they told me I was a drug addict, that I receive my
salary in drugs from the State Department and from the SBU (Ukrainian
Security Service). I offered to have them look at my articles on the
Internet. I was taken to another room where there “is Internet”; they
looked: yes, it’s objective, but there is no accreditation — that is a
crime. And because of a business card from a Ukrainian journalist they
found on me, I was accused of criminal collaboration.
Update: 22:30 Pavel is in Rostov Region and will be in Moscow tomorrow.
DNR has accused him of working “not for Novaya Gazeta” but “a Ukrainian
publication” on the basis of the Ukrainian journalist’s business card.
As reported earlier, Novaya Gazeta’s editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov appealed to the Russian
Foreign Ministry and the president’s aministration to intervene on
behalf of Kanygin.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s foremost independent newspaper, reports that their special correspondent, Pavel Kanygin, has been arrested by the ‘state security organs’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).
The DNR authorities are reportedly considering whether to deport Kanygin home to Russia.
Novaya Gazeta‘s editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov was informed by someone introducing themselves as one “Igor Mikhailovich” (they declined to give their surname) that Kanygin had been detained and was accused of working not for Novaya Gazeta, but “one of the Ukrainian publications.”
Igor Mikhailovich said that the grounds for the accusation were that the business card of a Ukrainian journalist, named Matsuga, was found on Kanygin.
Muratov, of course, considers the accusations to be absurd.
To add to the bizarre situation, Igor Mikhailovich went on to claim that Kanygin had tested positive for drugs after being administered a blood test.
Novaya Gazeta announced (translated by The Interpreter):
The provocation by the ‘state security service of the DNR’ will be disproved by our newspaper editors as soon as Kanygin returns to Moscow. Three laboratories, including both state and independent, are ready to carry out blood tests on Kanygin.
“This is not the first provocation with regards to Pavel, each of which has turned out to be a primitive bluff,” said the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta.
Muratov has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry and Presidential Administration to intervene. Muratov has been told by Kanygin’s captors that he will be returned to Russia today, but he said that, if such does not pass, a delegation from the management of Novaya Gazeta, foreign media representatives and Russian MPs will fly out.
— Pierre Vaux
Following yesterday’s protest outside the Donetsk Regional State Administration (OGA) building, the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) has announced that 100 places have been prepared for the resettling the residents of the front-line Oktyabrsky neighbourhood.
Maksim Leshchenko, head of DNR leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko’s administration, has told the pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) that residents from Oktyabrsky could all be resettled at one of Donetsk’s health camps.
Leshchenko said that 21 families, made up of 70 people, had registered for resettlement from Oktyabrsky today.
Yesterday, Zakarchenko himself had gone out to speak to the protesters at the OGA. During the meeting he took questions and assured residents that resettlement could be arranged and that his ‘government’ were working on re-establishing pension payments.
However, at a press conference later that day, Zakharchenko said that he considered the protest to have been stirred up, or at least managed, as a provocation by enemies of the DNR.
Zakharchenko said (translated by The Interpreter):
This protest did not just break out. You yourselves understand that, had it been spontaneous, then it would have been in a different format.
The questions expressed were fashioned around someone’s script. The same questions were given with varying angles and embellishments.
Clearly a provocation did take place, there’s no need to hush it up.
The DNR leader clearly considered any talk of peace to be tantamount to surrendering:
Look, today we heard a proposal: go sit at the negotiating table and make up. This is pure provocation.
Interfax reported that Zakharchenko had accused Kiev of instigating the protest and that Ukraine was working to undermine the separatist ‘republics’ by splitting popular sentiment between the two.
While recognising that many of the protesters’ demands were valid and urgent, Zakharchenko said that his administration would reconsider their ‘law’ on freedom of assembly (translation by The Interpreter):
“This issue will be raised at our next meeting. Today, there is no ban on assemblies, but we are at war nonetheless.
After all, one can assemble a protest, then shoot them, and accuse us of having dispersed protesters with artillery. Why allow an unnecessary excuse for accusations?”
— Pierre Vaux
The governor of the Lugansk region, Hennadiy Moskal, has announced that two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and two wounded outside Kryakovka, a village on the northern banks of the Seversky Donets river, just west of Tryokhizbenka.
According to the governor’s report, the casualties were the result of a battle between Ukrainian troops and a sabotage-and-reconnaissance group of Russian-backed fighters, who had crossed the river into Ukrainian-controlled territory.
North of Kryakovka, forest continues to burn after Grad rocket bombardment sparked a fire yesterday.
Moskal visited a tuberculosis clinic on the grounds of a former military base near a pine forest. One Grad rocket had struck an accommodation building at the clinic, severely damaging it, while others had fallen in the surrounding woodland.
The governor’s office presented a photo of what they claimed to be the remains of a Grad rocket found near Tryokhizbenka. The report says that the rockets were fired from the separatist-held Slavyanoserbsk on the southern side of the river.
Elsewhere in the region, Moskal’s office reported mortar attacks on Toshkovka and Chekherovo. At 20:00, Russian-backed fighters fired Grad rockets from occupied Golubovskoye towards Orekhovo on the Bakhmutka highway.
Moskal claimed that the rockets were fired from a single-launch Grad P launcher. 9 shots were fired in total, one of the exploding outside a medical centre. Skirmishes were reported in the same area over the night and, at 4 am today, the 25th Ukrainian checkpoint on the highway was shelled with mortars.
On the southern banks of the Seversky Donets, Fighting broke out intermittently to the east of Krymskoye.
Finally the town of Stanitsa Luganskaya was attacked overnight with mortars, grenade launchers and small arms. A gas main was severed leaving part of the town without gas. On Lermontov street, mortar shells struck two homes, causing fires.
Fortunately there were no casualties.
The governor’s office posted photos: