Press photographer Andrei Stenin: biography and cause of death


The work of a journalist is always fraught with danger. And probably the hardest test is the choice of conscience. It is this choice that, as a rule, at every hypocritical time of honest people leads to the sacrificial altar of greed. And photojournalist Andrei Stenin, of course, was one of such victims.


Nugget from the province

Future journalist Stenin Andrei Alekseevich was born in the Komi Republic, namely in the town of Pechora on December 22, 1980. His mother, who became a widow in 2012, works in the state Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology as a medical assistant. Besides him, there were no more children in the family. He displayed a rather early to journalism, so he had no questions about the choice of profession. Therefore, after graduating from a higher education institution in his homeland, Andrei Stenin in 2003 went to Moscow.

Unfortunately, there are no big details about his life before moving to the capital. In open sources there are no data on his preferences, how he attended school, which institute he graduated from and what dictated his career choice, and especially voluntary business trips to hot spots, which he managed to see quite a lot during his short career.

Carier start

Arriving in Belokamennuyu, he began to work in the information and analytical publication "Rossiyskaya Gazeta". Andrey Stenin, whose biography, unfortunately, turned out to be so short, began his professional career as a journalist and wrote in the “Society” column. After that, he worked for several years on the information Internet portal He decided to devote himself to the genre of documentary photography only five years after the start of his career. The work of Andrei Stenin as a photojournalist was mainly devoted to emergencies, riots, lawsuits and military conflicts.


Freelance work

Andrei Stenin, whose photo has the amazing ability to snatch the most salt of the situation, for several years has become quite popular in the photo correspondence market. At the same time, he was a freelancer with major international news agencies Reuters, Associated Press, France Press, Russian agencies RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS, as well as the newspaper Kommersant. Andrei Stenin was actively working in the most dangerous hot spots of recent years: in Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Libya, the Gaza Strip.

He joined the staff of the RIA Novosti agency in 2009. At the end of 2013, the agency was liquidated, the corresponding decree was signed by President Vladimir Putin. On its basis, the federal state unitary enterprise International Information Agency “Russia Today” was formed. Andrei Stenin, a journalist whose photos were already known, was decorated as a special correspondent for the newborn agency.

His work has been repeatedly awarded awards in the field of professional achievement. He received his first award in 2010, when he became the laureate of the Iskra annual national print media award. In the same year, as well as three years later, was among the winners of the competition "Silver Camera".


Deadly business trip

With the start of military clashes in the South-East of Ukraine, a lot of journalists went to another sudden hot spot. Among those brave and selfless were Andrei Stenin, who went there last May. Performing the editorial assignment, he worked in Kiev, as well as in the places of direct armed confrontations - in Shakhtersk, Mariupol, Slavyansk, Lugansk and Donetsk. He worked there for about three months, when the connection with him was lost. The latest working materials from him came on August 5 last year. It was only known that on the last trip he was accompanied by Sergey Korenchenkov and Andrey Vyachalo, employees of the Information Corps of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).


The very next day, different versions of the further fate of the photojournalist began to be voiced. The most obvious and insistent was the version of the abduction of an employee of the Russian media by the security forces of Ukraine. Three days after the disappearance of Andrei Stenin, Russia Today, referring to its source in the territory of eastern Ukraine, announced the abduction of their employee and officially filed an accusation against the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country opened a case on the fact of the disappearance of a photojournalist, but later Kiev did not find a confirmation of the version that the SBU officers actually captured it.

Meanwhile, his colleagues also began to search for traces of a journalist. It became known that Stenin did not inform his leadership of the specific route of his movement in Ukraine, and after receiving the latest materials from him in Moscow, no one knew where he went. Colleagues said that the photojournalist in general loved the freedom of movement, did not like it when someone pressed on top, did not like to be in a pile of assorted journalists, which happens very much during press tours. He loved his work, was devoted to her, and sought to do it honestly. And the implementation of these principles did not tolerate vanity.


Ambiguous position of the Ukrainian authorities

Meanwhile, a week later, official sources reported that the Russian journalist was under arrest, that the Ukrainian secret services suspected him of complicity with terrorism. This was announced on August 12 in an interview by the adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior Anton Gerashchenko. However, some time later, he made a reservation that he did not have accurate information on this matter, that he only suggested such a development of events, and the interviewers - the leading Latvian radio station Baltkom - misinterpreted his words. The official asked journalists not to disturb him with these questions anymore. In response to these accusations, a radio official released a recording of the interview.

His irritation with the incessant questions about the fate of the Russian journalist, Mr. Gerashchenko, finally decided to splash out into a social network. On his Facebook page, he noted that photojournalist Andrei Stenin is wanted by the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as the other 300 people who disappeared "during the actions of terrorists." On a much more unrestrained statements of Mr. Gerashchenko provoked Vladimir Krasnov, better known as pranker (telephone hooligan) under the nickname Vovan222. Posing as an assistant to the leader of the LDPR, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he led a conversation on the topic of a journalist. The official, putting forward the next version, suggested that the journalist was killed "with his terrorist friends" in the vicinity of Shakhtersk. Pranker recorded this conversation and published its decoding on the net.



The first assumptions about the possible death of a journalist appeared as early as the twentieth of August, when the news of the body found near the town of Snezhny, which was not far from Donetsk, passed. The information appeared on the pages of the periodical "Komsomolskaya Pravda". From the moment of his disappearance, colleagues on a business trip to Ukraine began his active search. Komsomolskaya Pravda employees Alexander Kotsu and Dmitry Steshin managed to hit the trail. It was these journalists who managed to establish with whom and where exactly Andrei Stenin went before his mysterious disappearance.

However, both the employer of the journalist and the Russian authorities asked not to rush with messages, not to make hasty public statements and conclusions until any official information was received from the Ukrainian side.

Meanwhile, members of the Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that, according to their data, Stenin, in the company of two local journalists, who, probably, Mr. Gerashchenko meant by “terrorist friends, ” went to the town of Snezhnoye, to the combat zone. According to one of the militia, it was possible to establish that it was on that day that the Ukrainian regular army fired on a train from cars on the road to Dmitrovka. They shot not only the military, but also civilian vehicles. Wrecks of burnt cars were discovered near Dmitrovka. Renault Logan was also found there, where, presumably, a Russian journalist moved on that ill-fated day.

The car found the remains of three people, and in the trunk - professional photographic equipment, lenses, lenses. According to data from open sources, the cars were first shot from machine guns and machine guns, and then from Grad installations. It was also established that after the murder, the journalist’s phone was switched on and off several times; moreover, someone had logged in from him. Those who found the body claimed that the car was simply burned by the journalists, and the shelling of "Grad" was arranged to entangle traces.


Stock support

In the meantime, the world community held one share of support after another. Rallies in support of the missing photojournalist were held in Russia, Serbia, Great Britain, Mexico and Argentina. The public has shown increased attention to the disappearance of not the first Russian journalist on the territory of Ukraine and demanded from Kiev not only official statements, but also decisive actions to end the arbitrariness towards the workers of the pen. Representatives of the OSCE expressed their support for the events, who subsequently went to the place where the body was found together with Donetsk investigators. In addition, representatives of the International Federation of Journalists and the Reporters Without Borders international organization expressed rather categorically.

The Russia Today Agency itself organized an action demanding the release of the journalist. In addition, FreeAndrew tags were launched on social networks.

Russian version

Officially, the death of Andrei Stenin was confirmed on September 3, almost a month after his disappearance. Director General of the MIA "Russia Today" Dmitry Kisilev reported on his death, referring to the results of the examination. Thus, since the beginning of the military conflict, several Russian journalists died in Ukraine in a few months.

The Investigation Committee of Russia, which also conducted its investigation, put forward its version of what happened. TFR reported that a convoy of vehicles with refugees was moving to Dmitrovka from the town of Snezhny. Not far from the destination, a column in which there were only civilians ran into an armed detachment, allegedly on the 79th separate airmobile brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces. The investigation concluded that the convoy, consisting of ten vehicles, was destroyed by shelling of high-explosive shells and from Kalashnikov tank machine guns. The next day, the servicemen of Ukraine inspected the place of the incident, where they found Andrei Stenin a couple of weeks later, searched the dead, found the things they took and fired at the place again from Grad.


The public requires

Andrei Stenin, whose photo in the professional community was called one of the most impressive, unfortunately did not have time to start a family. After his death only his mother remained from his relatives. President Vladimir Putin brought his official condolences to the mother of the deceased in the performance of his professional duties as a journalist on the day of the official death notice. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, giving an assessment of what happened, called the case with Stenin "another barbaric murder", which, according to the department, "the work of Ukrainian security officials." In its report, the agency has demanded that Kiev conduct a thorough investigation. A number of international communities, including UNESCO, made a similar demand. There is no information about the fate of the criminal case on the death of the special correspondent in open sources.

Andrei Stenin was buried on September 5 in Moscow, at the Troekurovsky cemetery. During the burial, he was given military honors: three volleys of the guard of honor. On the same day, Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which a journalist was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage.

On the same day, a photo exhibition devoted to the tragic events in Ukraine was held in New York. At the opening of the event, where a large number of photos of Andrei Stenin were presented, they honored the memory of the journalist.

At the end of the summer of 2014, a predictor, a certain Dmitry, appeared on the Internet. He maintains his video diary on “New Nostradamus”, as its users immediately named it, expressed his version of what will happen in the territory of Eastern Europe in the next three to five years. In matters of subscribers, there was a question, the subject of which was Andrei Stenin, the predictions about him were vague. In particular, he initially stated that he "is neither among the living nor among the buried." As he explained later, the confusion of his visions was due precisely to the fact that his body burned down.

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