Donetsk war reporter held by Ukrainian forces, says militia

Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic claim that Ukrainian troops have captured the DNR Defense Ministry's political correspondent and French national Yury Yurchenko in the city of Ilovaisk.

Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) claim that Ukrainian troops have captured the DNR Defense Ministry's political correspondent and French national Yury Yurchenko in the city of Ilovaisk.

"Today Ukrainian forces captured a war correspondent from the DNR Defense Ministry's political department in the city of Ilovaisk," sources in the ministry told Interfax.

The DNR administration would not say how or why Yurchenko was arrested.

At the same time, the ministry expressed its "deep concern over the future fate of Yurchenko, since the Ukrainian troops around Ilovaisk were formed from far-right ideologist volunteers and mercenaries."

Ukrainian officials were not immediately available to confirm this report.

For his part, Anton Herashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister, said that "a group of eight separatists dispatched as reinforcements to the Ilovaisk grouping of separatists" was being held in Ilovaisk on Wednesday.

"Among those captured is an interesting person, Yury Vasilyevich Yurchenko. Yurchenko, Yury Vasilyevich (Paris), a playwright, actor, poet, winner of international competitions, and President of the Les Saisons Russes (Russian Seasons) Association, France," Herashchenko wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Yurchenko worked as "a French translator of statements and news stories" from the self-proclaimed DNR "for what he calls a breaking of the information blockade on Novorossiya in the French-speaking countries of the European Union," the Ukrainian minister's adviser wrote.

Yurchenko, like the rest of the captives, including a Slovakian, held on Monday, will be handed over to investigators once Ilovaisk is finally cleared of the militia, Herashchenko said.

"The extent of his guilt and responsibility will be determined by the courts," Herashchenko stressed.

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