Ukraine doing nothing to free journalist Kochneva, according to Syrian rebels

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Dec. 17, 2012, 11:08 p.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Anhar Kochneva
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 Syrian rebels have claimed that the Ukrainian government is doing nothing to free journalist Anhar Kochneva, Television News Service (TSN) reported on Monday.

 "When we were negotiating with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian Embassy, they did not keep their promises, and they did nothing to free Anhar. In this situation, we decided to kill the girl," the commander of a group that abducted the Ukrainian journalist said in an interview with the 1+1 TV Channel.

The rebels also said they planned to execute Kochneva on December 16, but decided to "give her a second chance."

They also stated that they did not need the money, but they have not announced their demands to the Ukrainian side in the interview.

"The woman stayed with us for a long time, as nobody responded to our requests and questions about what we can be offered in exchange for her release," they said.

The rebels also explained that the threats that were previously announced concern "those who do nothing to help their citizens," rather than Ukrainians.

TSN is planning to transfer the materials of the interview with Syrian rebels to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

On October 15, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Dykusarov told Interfax-Ukraine that gunmen had kidnapped a Ukrainian woman in Syria, who went to the country as a translator for the crew of a Russian television channel.

"According to the information we received from the migration service in Syria, a woman, born 1972, is a citizen of Ukraine. She crossed the Syrian border on September 22 this year through Damascus International Airport at the invitation of a non-governmental organization," he said.

On October 15, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych demanded that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and other concerned government agencies take measures to release Kochneva.

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