Eight journalists killed in Ukraine war

Covering the war in Ukraine is taking a horrific toll on journalists and media workers both local and international.

During the first weeks of the Russian invasion, reporting from Ukraine has proved more dangerous than most assignments that INSI members, some of the world's largest news organisations, had covered before. The number of deaths and disappearances among Ukrainian and independent journalists, in particular, has been utterly devastating.

Eight journalists have died since the Russian invasion on February 24 including:

March 1. Yevhenii Sakun, a reporter with the Kyiv Live TV channel, died when Russia bombed a television tower in Kyiv

March 13. US freelance filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot in the back of the neck when driving near Irpin, northwest of Kyiv. US Colombian journalist Juan Arredondo was injured alongside his colleague.

March 13. Ukrainian photographer Maks Levin, who has worked for the Associated Press and Reuters, went missing near Kyiv. He was later found dead on the outskirts of the city. He had been shot.

March 14. Fox News journalists Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed in an attack in Horenka near Kyiv. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was seriously injured in the attack.

March 23. Oksana Baulina, a Russian investigative journalist, died during shelling while reporting in the Podil district of Kyiv

April 2. Mantas Kvedaravicius, a Lithuanian documentary filmmaker, was killed as he tried to evacuate from Mariupol where he had been filming the beseiged city.

May 30. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a French journalist working for broadcaster BFMTV, was killed on the road to the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, in the Luhansk region, while reporting on a humanitarian evacuation operation.

There have also been numerous injuries and near misses in which journalists barely escaped with their lives. Ominously setting the tone for what was to come, only four days after the Russian invasion, correspondent Stuart Ramsay from Sky News was wounded and cameraman Richie Mockler shot twice in his body armour during a terrifying ambush in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv. Footage shot by Sky as they ran for their lives showed the attack continued despite the team screaming in multiple languages that they were journalists.

"It’s become clear very early on in the conflict that being members of the media offers no protection from Russian firepower on the ground in Ukraine” said INSI director Elena Cosentino. “Journalists are not being treated as neutral observers by the Russian military and that is not expected to improve. Cooperation among colleagues and the sharing of safety information will remain essential to continue covering this war.”

Our members have been on the ground since before the war began. They are using the INSI network of more than 40 of the world's major news organisations including the BBC, the New York Times, AP, CNN and Swedish Radio to assess risk and plan deployment of news teams as safely as possible.

Image by AFP