Yesterday, when two additional Russian journalists were said to have been seized briefly by rebel Kosovo Albanian forces, the Russian embassy in Yugoslavia lodged an official protest in connection with the seizure of third Russian journalist that was reported to have occurred on July 17. Sergei Mitin, a correspondent for the Russian daily Izvestia, said he was taken from his car in Kosovo by rebel soldiers and beaten. The soldiers released Mitin but reportedly kept his rental car. (Itar-Tass, July 18) Yesterday’s protest by the Russian Embassy was addressed to representatives of Kosovo and called for the return of Mitin’s car. The protest also charged that the Kosovo Albanians had failed to live up to their assurances “that full freedom of movement … would be ensured in Kosovo for all journalists.” (Itar-Tass, July 21)
Meanwhile, the Russian consulate in Yugoslavia told reporters yesterday that two more Russian journalists–Oleg Safulin and Oleg Galanov of the Vesti TV program–had been taken from their car by Albanian gunmen. The two Russian journalists were said to have been held for several hours of questioning and then released. The consulate yesterday repeated its warning to Russian journalists that they faced risks if they tried to operate in Kosovo. One Russian official was quoted as saying that members of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army are more tolerant of American or Western European journalists than they are of Russian. The Russians, he said, have been branded as pro-Serbian by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians. (Itar-Tass, July 21)
WORKERS OF FEDERAL NUCLEAR CENTER THREATEN TO GO ON STRIKE.