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Russian video news agency celebrates Assange scoop

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 19, 2017 Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears on the balcony after making an address to the media at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. A British judge on February 13, 2018 rejected a second attempt by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to overturn a warrant that means he would be arrested if he stepped outside his refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS

Russian video news agency Ruptly, a subsidiary of state-backed broadcaster RT, captured exclusive footage of Julian Assange’s arrest on Thursday — and said it was all thanks to old-fashioned journalistic instinct.

“Hard work and patience can yield rewards,” it said in a statement, praising its team “who stayed on top of the story when all other media decided to leave”.

Ruptly had been providing live coverage from outside Ecuador’s London embassy ever since WikiLeaks last week warned that Assange’s expulsion could come within “hours or days”.

“These images are the result of hard work by our producers in the newsroom and on the ground,” the news agency’s statement said.

“For the last week, we closely monitored developments on this story while our team of producers worked in shifts, filming the embassy 24/7,” it said.

“We saw camera crews come and go. But we stayed. We believe that these images hold great news value”.

The footage, which showed a frantic-looking Assange being carried out of the embassy by London police, has now been broadcast around the world.

Ruptly was set up in 2013 to be “a competitive alternative to the status quo news agencies” with “exclusive high impact and viral video” and “a varied selection of daily live feeds”, its website said.

The agency is based in Berlin and its parent company is RT, the Russian news channel set up in 2005 with the express aim of acquainting “international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events”.

RT also has a strong association with Assange himself.

In 2012, at the beginning of Assange’s stay in the Ecuadorian embassy, it aired 12 half-hour episodes of “The Julian Assange Show”.

In the shows, Assange conducted video-link interviews with figures such as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and US leftist thinker Noam Chomsky.


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