On June 30, the Hromadske TV journalist Nastia Stanko and operator Illia Bezkorovainy were taken prisoners by representatives of the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic". According to Hromadske TV, the head of Luhansk People's Republic, Valeriy Bolotov believes they were spying for the Ukrainian army and were detained as spies.
The journalists were in Luhansk oblast visiting check points on the editorial assignment. They were captured by the security service of LPR, called NKVD, and are kept in a basement of a building in downtown Luhansk. They are not subject to violence; the conditions of their confinement are tolerable. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko gave an assignment to do everything possible to get the journalists released as quickly as possible.
The self-proclaimed Prime Minister of LPR Vasyl Nikitin promised to release the journalists after leaders of three prominent federal Russian TV channels (Pervy Kanal, VGTRK, and NTV) asked them to do so.
The Hromadske TV journalist Nastia Stanko and operator Illia Bezkorovainy have been released from captivity of the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic". The release was televised live by the Russian TV channel LifeNews. The LifeNews journalists followed Stanko and Bezkorovainy and kept pestering them with questions but the Hromadske TV journalists refused to talk to representatives of Russian media outlets.
According to the Hromadske TV journalists, their captors threatened to kill them.