NBC News' Richard Engel, Crew Detained Briefly in Crimea

NBC News' Richard Engel, Crew Detained Briefly in Crimea

Richard Engel and his NBC News crew were briefly detained in Crimea. Engel documented the ordeal on Twitter.

The press have been under attack in Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, since Ukraine deposed Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych on February 22. Pro-Russians took over Crimea and have a referendum on March 16. Residents will decide if they want to stay with Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. 

Gunmen set up checkpoints along roads, mainly at the Ukraine and Crimea border. On March 10, Radio Free Europe reported there were at least five journalists and activists missing in Crimea. They also said there were many unconfirmed reports of detained journalists at checkpoints. The next day, three Norwegian journalists were held at a checkpoint and gunmen confiscated their equipment and protective gear.

Interfax-Ukraine reported Ukrainian television stations were disrupted in Crimea, but Russian stations worked perfectly fine. Two Russian journalists resigned in Moscow over censorship issues and Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned on live television.