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Ukrainian Defense Ministry Cuts Ties With Photographer Over Purported 'Combat' Photos

Photographer Dmytro Muravskiy has stood by this photo in the face of accusations that it was staged.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry has cut ties with a photographer who served as a ministry adviser amid controversy over the authenticity of photographs purportedly showing combat scenes in eastern Ukraine.

Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said on August 28 that he made the decision to release photographer Dmytro Muravskiy from his position as a ministry advisor "due to the ongoing debates about photographs" taken by him.

Poltorak said all of the photos in question had been taken by Muravskiy before his appointment to the post. Poltorak said the ministry never used them or presented them to media as legitimate scenes of real military operations.

Earlier in August, a group of Ukrainian photojournalists raised concerns about a photo by Muravskiy, which depicted Ukrainian soldiers in the country's east fighting against Russia-backed separatists.

The photojournalists claimed the photo was staged and accused the Defense Ministry of using fake photos as part of an information campaign against the Kremlin.

Muravskiy insists that he has never staged any photos of combat in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Interfax