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Russia Detains Moscow Times Journalist in Border City

Belgorod. Wikipedia Commons

Updated with information on lawyer and release.

A reporter working for The Moscow Times’ Russian service was detained Saturday in the southwestern Russian border city of Belgorod.

Kirill Ponomarev was reporting an article about refugees displaced in the wake of Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive near Kharkiv, which saw Kyiv’s forces retake large swathes of territory next to the border with Russia.

He was released Sunday afternoon after over 15 hours in a police station, The Moscow Times’ Russian service said in a Telegram post.

Ponomarev was apparently fined 500 rubles ($8) for hooliganism.

On an editorial assignment for The Moscow Times' Russian service, Ponomarev was reporting about Russians and Ukrainians evacuated to the city because of the fighting. 

Belgorod is less than 40 kilometers from Ukraine.

A lawyer for Ponomarev was only allowed in to see his client Sunday morning, according to an earlier post by The Moscow Times’ Russian service. 

The Moscow Times’ Russian service was set up last year to offer independent Russian-language reporting on Russia. It is editorially separate from The Moscow Times.

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