Russian journalists from more than 30 media outlets criticized violence towards their colleagues who covered the protests in Belarus and demanded that Minsk tell what happened to missing journalists Maxim Solopov and Semyon Pegov. The appeal was published on August 11, the 7x7 Online Magazine also signed it.
Representatives of Russian media believe that the Belarusian authorities put strain on Russian journalists and used force against them. For example, journalists of the Dozhd TV Сhannel were cruelly detained and then deported on the eve of the elections. During the night conflicts on August 9–10 in Minsk, Anton Starkov and Dmitry Lasenko, the journalists of Daily Storm, were injured, and Yevgeny Oleynik from Sputnik Belarus was beaten. Russian media do not know anything about what happened to two journalists.
— The situation with [correspondent of Meduza] Maxim Solopov and [war correspondent, founder of the WarGonzo Project] Semyon Pegov is especially nervous. The journalists of Daily Storm, who said they had not been seriously injured, reported that the security forces had beaten Maxim Solopov. We have not heard anything either from Pegov, or from Solopov yet, - authors of the appeal point out.
The journalists are asking for the information about the journalists' fate, allowing the employees of the Russian Embassy to see them, and their immediate release.
The appeal was signed by editorial boards of Vedomosti, Kommersant, RBC, and the Syndicate-100 Independent Media Association: Novaya Gazeta, Meduza, Znak, Dozhd, Echo of Moscow, Takie Dela, MBKh Media, Open Media, Kavkazsky Uzel, Chernovik, TV2, Altapress, Taiga.info, Image-press, 7x7, Krestianin, ProUfu.ru, Bonus, Yuga.ru, Revda-info, Newsvo.ru, Business-class, Yakutsk Vecherniy, New Kachkanar, Penza-Online, Gorbusha.info, TVK, Svobodnye Novosti. FreeNews-Volga, Vesma.
The presidential election in Belarus was over on the evening of August 9. According to the official statement, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been leading the country since 1994, won it again. Opposition-minded residents of the republic doubted Lukashenko’s victory and started rioting. Security forces used water cannons, flash bang grenades, and rubber buckshot against them.
Denis Strelkov, «7х7»