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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

08/19/1997

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NTV Crew Nearly Lost All Hope

""Not a single report from Chechnya is worth 100 days of Chechnya captivity,"" said celebrated reporter Yelena Masyuk minutes after the plane that brought her and her NTV television crew to Moscow touched down Monday night at Vnukovo Airport. ""Great thanks to everybody who helped our liberation,"" said Masyuk, speaking amid hugs in the glare of television lights. She said she was not planning to go back to Chechnya any time soon. Masyuk was upbeat but looked much thinner than she was on May 10, when the NTV crew was taken hostage on the way to the Ingush capital, Nazran, where they were to relay some footage. Her colleagues, Dmitry Olchev and Ilya Mordyukov, had grown long beards and looked worn out. Olchev and Mordyukov hugged their wives, who had rushed to the airport to meet their husbands after hearing the news of their release on television. Just half an hour before the plane landed, Yelena Olcheva said she would not believe the news until she could ""see and touch"" her husband.

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