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Russian Ex-Dissident, Italian Photojournalist Killed Near Slovyansk

An undated handout picture provided by Cesura Agency on May 25 shows Russian Andrey Mironov (left) and Italian photographer and journalist Andrea Rocchelli in a recent picture taken in Slovyansk, where the men were covering the fighting between separatists and Ukrainian forces.
A Soviet-era dissident and Russian rights activist was killed on May 24 alongside an Italian photojournalist for whom he was translating as the two covered the separatism-fueled violence in eastern Ukraine.

The head of Russia's human rights group Memorial, Aleksandr Cherkasov, identified the slain Russian as Andrei Mironov.

Mironov was a Soviet-era dissident and former member of Memorial.

Italy's Foreign Ministry said Andrea Rocchelli was believed to have been killed on May 24 near the city of Slovyansk, where pro-Russian forces have been fighting Ukrainian government troops.

The statement said the journalist's body, which was taken to a hospital along with Mironov's, was awaiting official identification.

Reports said that the two were hit by mortar fire.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said on its website, "We urge the Ukrainian authorities to track down the dynamics of the attack which killed Andrea Rocchelli."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters