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Russian Paper Removes Article About Soldier Wounded In Ukraine

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

ULAN-UDE, Russia -- Journalists at a Siberian newspaper say they spent three days using scissors to cut an article about a Russian soldier who was wounded fighting alongside pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine out of 50,000 copies of the publication.

Tank crewman Dorzhi Batonmukuyev's accounts of fighting in eastern Ukraine have added to what Kyiv and NATO say is incontrovertible evidence of direct Russian military support for the rebels in a conflict with government forces that has killed more than 6,000 people since April 2014.

Russia denies it has sent troops or weapons into Ukraine.

The chief editor of Novaya Buryatia (New Buryatia), Timur Dugarzhapov, told RFE/RL on April 7 that staffers in recent days cut an article about Batonmukuyev out of the newspaper's entire April 3 print run by hand and deleted it from the website.

Dugarzhapov said the paper had not been ordered by the authorities to remove the article, but decided to do so after "too many hateful comments appeared in the Internet."

Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an interview last month in which Batonmukuyev, who suffered severe burns and remains hospitalized, described in detail how Russian armed forces had taken part in the battles in Ukraine.