Video: Journalist held at gunpoint in Crimea



Video surveillance footage has been released showing the moment a Bulgarian journalist had a gun held to his head and beaten by a gang of men in the Crimean city of Simferopol on Thursday.


Freelance journalist Dimiter Kenarov, who works for both Bulgarian and US media, was with colleagues at a restaurant when they saw pro-Russian gunmen pull up in a van across the street. He told local media that he saw them start to take video equipment out of a house being used as a studio by foreign journalists. After he went outside to take photos with his phone, several of the armed men rushed over and knocked Kenarov to the ground. One of them pointed a gun at his head. Another took his phone.



Right after the incident, a local media outlet filmed Kenarov describing, in English, what had just taken place:



Since last weekend, Russian soldiers have occupied parts of Crimea, a predominantly Russian-speaking region of Ukraine. As the crisis escalates, journalism watchdogs have expressed concern over repeated attempts to obstruct journalists’ work. The Center for Investigative Journalism, an agency based in Simferopol, was stormed by masked men who briefly occupied their building on Sunday. On Monday, Crimea’s broadcast authority took a popular independent station called Chernomorskaya Teleradiokompaniya off the air. Gunmen also seized a camera from the editor of a local news site in Sevastopol.