Updated on 10:12 p.m. Moscow Time
BRUSSELS, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union calls for an independent investigation into the death of Rossiya Segodnya photographer Andrei Stenin in Ukraine, said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the EU foreign policy chief.
“The reported death of Russian journalist Andrei Stenin, who went missing in Eastern Ukraine on 5 August, demonstrates the gravity of the situation,” she told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“Safety of journalists is a fundamental pillar of the right to media freedom and we call for independent investigation into this case, as we have done in the past for other reported cases of violations of journalists' rights,” the spokeswoman added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dmitry Kiselev, the Director General of the International Information News Agency Rossiya Segodnya, said that Russian investigators confirmed that Stenin died near the city of Donetsk a month ago.
The photojournalist was in a vehicle, traveling in a convoy of at least 10 vehicles carrying civilians and guarded by several members of self-defense forces, when it came under heavy fire from the Ukrainian military.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Kiev to carry out a thorough investigation into Stenin's murder, the fourth Russian journalist killed in eastern Ukraine in recent months.
President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior Russian politicians have expressed their condolences.
The Ukrainian Security Service has claimed that its officers were not involved in the incident.