The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal inquiry into the abduction of Russian photo reporter Andrei Stenin in Ukraine, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
"Detectives are taking measures to locate Stenin and his abductors. They are verifying the suspected involvement of servicemen of the National Guard and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine in the abduction of the journalist," Markin told Interfax on Tuesday.
He noted that the detectives would immediately file a request for legal assistance with the Ukrainian competent bodies.
According to the detectives, Stenin went on a work trip to Ukraine on May 13. He was fulfilling tasks from his editor in Kiev, Lugansk, Donetsk, Mariupol, Shakhtarsk, Slavyansk and some other cities. "He sent his latest report on August 5 and the editor's office lost contact with the journalist after that," Markin said.
He said that the criminal case was based on article 126 of the Russian Criminal Code (abduction of a person), which was punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The disappearance of Stenin in Ukraine became known on August 8. It was reported on the next day he might be held by the Zaporizhzhya department of the Ukrainian Security Service. Kyiv has made no comment on Stenin's disappearance.
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