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Russia Releases Detained Ukrainian Journalist

Ukrainian journalist Yevhen Aharkov.

Russia has released a Ukrainian journalist who been detained for reporting in the country without media accreditation, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Television correspondent Yevhen Aharkov crossed the border back into Ukraine shortly before midnight on Tuesday, the ministry said in a Twitter message, adding: "Congratulations!"

Russian immigration officials in the southern city of Voronezh detained Aharkov in mid-July for working as a journalist without government-issued press accreditation, Russian and Ukrainian media reported.

He was covering the detention of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who is being held in southern Russia on suspicion of abetting the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine.

Shortly after his detention, a Russian court fined Aharkov 2,000 rubles ($56) and ordered him to be placed in an immigration detention center, TSN reported earlier.

Ukraine's consul appealed to the Russian Foreign Ministry to release the journalist on his own recognizance, but the ministry initially turned down the request, the report said.

Aharkov told TSN after his release that he was banned from re-entering Russia for up to five years.

"I'm feeling good, alive and well, going home," the journalist told TSN.

"I want to shout: 'Glory to Ukraine,'" he added, citing a popular slogan of Ukraine's street protests that toppled the country's previous, Moscow-backed administration earlier this year.

See also:

Journalists Become Walking Targets in Ukraine's Information War

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