MOSCOW, July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Graham Phillips, a British national and RT stringer, was among the group of journalists that has gone missing in Ukraine on the night from July 22 to July 23. He is presumed to be held by the Ukrainian Security Forces (SBU), based on information from multiple sources.
On the evening of July 22nd Phillips, who was working on an independent project, informed RT producers that he was on his way to Donetsk airport, scene of an intense firefight. Although RT urged Phillips not to go due to obvious risks, it appears he decided to proceed. RT's last communication with Phillips was around 02:00 am (Moscow time), when producers received an SMS from his phone, reading "All is fine."
"Our last communication with the group was at 23:00 local time. Then the four journalists disappeared," said a representative of the Anna-News agency, whose reporters are among those missing. "We have information that they are being held by the SBU."
Since Phillips' disappearance RT has been using all available resources to establish his location and condition, including reaching out to the representatives of the Donetsk People's Republic, Ukrainian officials, the UK Embassy in Ukraine and the UK Foreign Office. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded the immediate release of Phillips and Anna-News journalists, and the UK Foreign Office is looking into the incident and is "ready to provide consular assistance," according to statement.
In May of this year Graham Phillips was detained near Mariupol by the Ukrainian National Guard, questioned about his work for RT and was denied external communication for 35 hours. He has been reporting on the developments in Ukraine since early spring of this year.
RT is a global international news network that broadcasts 24/7 in English, Arabic and Spanish from its studios in Moscow and Washington, DC, and is available to 644 million viewers worldwide. RT is the first TV news channel in history to cross the billion views mark on YouTube. RT is the winner of the Monte Carlo TV Festival Awards for best 24-hr broadcast, and the only Russian TV channel to garner two nominations for the prestigious International Emmy Award in the News category.
SOURCE Russia Today