President Vladimir Putin dismissed Wednesday Ukrainian authorities' claim that two Russian journalists detained in the country were armed and involved in terrorist activity as "absolute nonsense."
"The LifeNews journalists are being accused of all the deadly sins right now, including that they were carrying some weapon, which is rubbish and absolute nonsense," Putin told reporters at a press conference in Shanghai, Itar-Tass reported.
Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko of Russia's LifeNews Internet portal and television channel were detained by Ukrainian security forces near Kramatorsk on Sunday.
Ukraine's National Security Defense Council claimed on Monday that a portable anti-aircraft missile had been uncovered in the trunk of the journalists' vehicle and that it had photographic and video evidence of their participation in terrorist activity in eastern Ukraine.
In a video that appeared online on Wednesday morning, Saichenko admitted that he and Sidyakin had concealed the true purpose of their visit to Ukraine. Russian observers have suggested that Saichenko could have been pressured to record the video.