Russian television channel Zvezda announced Sunday that two of its journalists were being held in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk.
According to a report posted Sunday on the channel's website, reporter Yevgeny Davydov and sound engineer Nikita Konashenkov were detained Saturday at a Ukrainian National Guard checkpoint near the village of Pokrovskoye before being moved to Dnepropetrovsk.
The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement on its website on Saturday calling for the journalists' immediate release. The statement also berated Ukraine for its "gross violation of the rights of Russian media."
The channel, which appealed to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to have the journalists freed, said its two employees were "on an official business trip and were carrying all required documents, as well as plane tickets back to Moscow."
This latest detention marks the second incident involving Zvezda reporters in as many weeks in Ukraine. Two other Zvezda journalists, Andrei Sushenkov and Anton Malyshev, were detained in eastern Ukraine on June 6 before being released a few days later. The Ukrainian Security Service said the men had been detained on suspicion of having conducted surveillance at a border checkpoint in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine ranks 127th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Russia ranks 148th.