Russian actor filmed firing machine gun at Donetsk airport

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A Russian actor faces terror charges in Ukraine after being filmed firing a heavy machine gun towards Donetsk airport from a rebel-held position.

Mikhail Porechenkov visited fighters from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) this week and can be seen alongside them in a video uploaded by separatist channel Novorossia TV.

The video has proven especially controversial because the 45-year-old is wearing protective clothing clearly labelled 'press' while firing the machine gun.

Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook that a warrant for Porechenkov's arrest on suspicion of participation in terrorist activities and of armed gangs would be handed to Interpol.

Porechenkov, who was in war-torn eastern Ukraine for a screening of wrestling biopic Poddubny in which he stars, told the Itar-Tass news agency the video was staged and no live ammunition was fired.

He added: "Why are they making this story out of nothing?"

The Union of Journalists of Russia has called on him to apologise to journalists in conflict zones the world over for whom "the word 'press' is often their only protection against bullets".


Translations via the Moscow Times and the Russian Legal Information Agency

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