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Ukraine

UN Security Council urges probe into journalists' deaths in Ukraine

The UN Security Council has called for an investigation into violence against journalists in Ukraine. Council members condemned violence and harassment on the same day two members of a Russian television crew died.

The divided Security Council issued its first statement to date on the Ukraine crisis, offering their condolences after the deaths of two journalists amid the fighting in eastern Ukraine earlier in the day.

The statement also called for an investigation into violence against reporters, and expressed anxiety about journalists being detained and harassed as part of the battle to control information about the situation in Ukraine.

"The members of the Security Council encourage a thorough investigation of all incidents of violence involving journalists," it said in a statement. "The members of the Security Council expressed concern about reported cases of detention and harassment of journalists covering the crisis in Ukraine," the statement added.

The council cited the deaths of Russian reporter Igor Kornelyuk and Ukrainian sound technician Anton Voloshin, employees of Russia's VGTRK media group. The pair were said to have died after being caught in an attack by Ukrainian forces during violence on Tuesday.

Thorough investigation promised

The May 24 deaths of a Russian photojournalist and his Russian interpreter were also noted by the council.

Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin who read the statement, went on to tell reporters that journalists were being increasingly targeted by Ukrainian armed forces. "This is another case of journalists targeted by the military," said Churkin, who is currently the council president.

Churkin's Ukrainian counterpart, Yuriy Sergeyev, said President Petro Poroshenko had ordered "a thorough investigation on the circumstances which brought these deaths."

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko held talks on Tuesday about the possibility of a ceasefire in Ukraine. The Kremlin reported that, during the talks, Poroshenko had assured Putin there would be a thorough investigation into what had happened.

rc/crh (AP, AFP)

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