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Friday April 28 9:43 AM ET TV Informs Woman of Husband's Kosovo Death

TV Informs Woman of Husband's Kosovo Death

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state television shocked viewers Thursday by broadcasting an interview with a woman before and after informing her that her husband had died while performing peacekeeping duties in Kosovo.

RTR television's correspondent in Ivanovo, 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Moscow, was the first person to tell the woman her 31-year-old husband, who had been due to return home in May, had been shot dead in the Yugoslav province.

Before breaking the news to the unsuspecting woman still in her dressing gown, the journalist filmed her, smiling timidly and looking in amazement at the surprise guest.

``Natasha will learn about her husband's death in a couple of minutes from us. Now she is cooking dinner for herself and her four-year-old daughter,'' he said in his report.

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``Natasha is very puzzled by the interest television is paying to her, an ordinary textile worker.''

Seconds later, the woman and her mother-in-law were shown sobbing uncontrollably.

The war in Chechnya has left women weeping over the coffins of their slain sons and husbands into a familiar television sight, but the RTR footage was unprecedented in its treatment of a family tragedy.

An RTR editor told Reuters: ``It was a chance occurrence of circumstances.''

A spokesman for the KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo said in the local capital Pristina Wednesday that the body of a Russian soldier had been found, but provided no further information.

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