#SaveOurGuys has become one of the most circulated hashtags on Twitter due to Russia’s public demand for the return of two captured journalists. Many celebrities such as Victoria Bonya and Nikolai Baskov have joined in the social media movement in a plea for continued journalistic freedom all over the world.
Though full details of the arrest are still coming in, that hasn’t stopped the Russian government from organizing this twitter movement. The hashtag bears a significant relationship to the #BringBackOurGirls twitter designed to save nearly 300 Kidnapped Nigerian Girls. Likewise, that has tag was also sent out by Singers, DJs, and politicians such as First Lady Michelle Obama
On Sunday May 18th Russian LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko were captured by Ukrainian troops in Donetsk, a recently separated area of Ukraine due to the may 11 referendum. When asked for cause Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council stated the two reporters are under investigation for “aiding the terrorist group”.
Soon after a video emerged showing Sidyakin and Saichenko being physically forced to the ground by Ukrainian troops, sparking outrage in Russia and prompting the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe to demand the release of the held jounralists
According to U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, both journalists were carrying “manned portable anti-aircraft missiles in the trunks of their car.” The journalists were said to have also possessed fake credentials issued by the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic.
This isn’t the first time the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has withheld reporters. One of the first was Ukrainian Vice News’s Simon Ostrovski who was taken by pro-Russian forces.
Muzaffar Suleymanov from the Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded the end of injustice to journalists on both sides.
“We call on all sides in the conflict in Ukraine to respect journalists’ status as civilians and allow them to report freely,”