Russian journalists of Zvezda (Star) TV channel, who were previously detained in Ukraine, have been released. According to representatives of the TV channel, Zvezda cameraman Andrei Sushenkov and sound engineer Anton Malyshev have already returned to Russia.
According to the message posted on the channel's website, the journalists were delivered to the Russian side at international checkpoint "Nehoteevka" in the Belgorod region, from where they would be flown to Moscow by special flight of the Russian Defense ministry
Previously, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin had said that there were "reasons to hope for their release in the near future."
Zvezda cameraman Andrei Sushenkov and sound engineer Anton Malyshev officially entered the territory of Ukraine to cover the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko. On June 6, they were detained by Ukraine's National Guard near Slavyansk. The journalists reported before any sort of contact was lost with them that they were being interrogated at a checkpoint near the village of Bylbasovka. They said that Ukrainian military men had taken all their documents away from them.
Upon their return to Russia, the journalists said that they had been beaten for two days. Moreover, they were kept practically without water in a small stuffy room, where temperature reached 50 degrees Centigrade.
"We were hungry, cold, dirty and at times in pain. They did not torture us, but they got physical against us trying to find out whether we were employed for some special services," the journalists said.
They also confirmed the words of an eyewitness, a driver, who was transporting them, about the circumstances of their detention at a checkpoint near Slavyansk. In particular, the man said that the military men kept the journalists IDs for about two hours. Afterwards, a military helicopter arrived, the military men handcuffed the journalists and put bags on their heads. The journalists were on their knees, cuffed and with bags put on their heads.