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Ukraine Journalists Union Asks OSCE For Help Locating Missing Blogger

OSCE observers inspect a private building that was destroyed by shelling in Avdiyivka last month.
OSCE observers inspect a private building that was destroyed by shelling in Avdiyivka last month.

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine has requested that the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission in eastern Ukraine and International Committee of the Red Cross help locate Stanislav Aseyev, a blogger missing since June 2.

Colleagues, family, and friends of Aseyev, who writes under the name Stanislav Vasin and contributes to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, said that they had had no contact with him for more than a week.

Former member of parliament Yehor Firsov, a longtime acquaintance of Aseyev's, alleged in a June 6 Facebook post that Aseyev had been seized in Donetsk and forcibly held by Russia-backed separatist forces controlling the region, information he repeated in a June 7 Facebook post and a June 10 Ukrayinska Pravda blog post, citing "unofficial sources."

RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said that Aseyev's detention, if true, was "deeply alarming and lawless," and that he feared the blogger's life could be at risk. "We demand that he be released immediately, and that his safety be guaranteed," Pejic said.

Aseyev, who has referred to his efforts to chronicle daily life under the war conditions in the Donetsk region as "my education," publishes texts and photos about current news and military developments, and posts about shopping, entertainment and culture both in separatist- and non-separatist-controlled cities.

He has also covered sensitive issues relating to the conflict, including reactions among Donetsk residents to the apparent assassination in October 2016 of the notorious Russia-backed separatist commander known as "Motorola."

Vasin also reports for other Ukrainian publications, including Mirror of the Week and The Ukrainian Week.

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