Graham Philips
grahamwphilips.comGraham Philips

A British blogger freelancing for the Kremlin-funded RT television station has been allegedly detained by Ukrainian government's National Guard at a checkpoint in Mariupol, in south-eastern Ukraine.

Graham Phillips, a controversial journalist whose gonzo-style anti-Maidan reports gained him notoriety among pro-Russian bloggers and contempt by pro-Ukrainian netizens, was believed to have been held with his local driver by Kiev forces.

"They've taken my bulletproof jacket and my helmet, but on the other hand they haven't in any way inflicted any form of injury or any actions on my person," he told RT in his last phone call before the mobile was apparently confiscated.

"They found my reports and clips I've done and they're now looking through them asking me my position on things, asking if I'm a spy, and asking me quite thorough questions. They've checked all my documentation and photos, my laptop and the car - so that's who I'm with at the moment."

The driver was released six hours later. RT said it has been unable to contact him further and believed he had been transferred to Kiev.

The editor in chief of the Russian state-funded channel criticised British authorities and media outlets for ignoring the detention of Philips.

"No news on Graham Philips abducted by military in Ukraine. We are contacting all British authorities - they do not care about the fellow citizen," Margarita Simonyan said.

Several Ukrainian and foreign journalists, including Vice News's Simon Ostrovsky, have been detained or beaten by the rebel pro-Russian militia which has occupied several cities in eastern Ukraine.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has condemned the arrest of journalists by both parties in Ukraine.

"Journalists covering the Ukraine crisis are convenient targets of the conflicting sides. I reiterate my call to all sides to stop intimidating and threatening members of the media and to let them do their jobs," OSCE representative on freedom of media Dunja Mijatovic said.

UPDATE: The Foreign Office has confirmed that a British national has been detained in Ukraine