Despite issuing DW a press pass and promising an interview, Donetsk armed guards turned the team away at their border. The team was held for a hour before being sent back into Kyiv-controlled territory.
Eastern Ukrainian separatists barred a DW journalist from entering "The People's Republic of Donetsk" on Monday. According to reporter Christian Trippe, he and his camera crew were held for an hour at a Marinka checkpoint before being allowed to return to Kyiv-controlled territory.
Trippe wrote that the DW team had hoped to join a group of OSCE observers led by Swiss diplomat Alexander Hug on their trip to Donetsk. To that end, the DW team had already received an official press pass from the self-proclaimed People's Republic. Officials had also agreed to allow DW to interview a spokesman from the "People's Militia." In spite of this, border guards refused to let the reporter and camera team enter the territory. When asked for a reason, they referred Trippe to the Donetsk security services.
Before the Ukrainian conflict broke out in 2014, Donetsk was one of the country's most important economic areas. Following Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, pro-Moscow separatists seized control of Donetsk's government buildings and have been locked in a conflict with Ukrainian government troops ever since.