International News Safety Institute

11 December 2023

  |  INSI news

Seventeen journalists killed in Ukraine war


Seventeen 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.

Seventeen journalists have died since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, including:

Feb 26. Freelance Ukrainian photojournalist Ihor Hudenko was found dead in Kharkiv, with cause of death unknown.

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

March 5-9. Roman Nezhyborets, a video technician at broadcaster Dytynets in the city of Chernihiv, was found dead by Ukrainian volunteers in the northern village of Yahidne.

March 5-15. Freelance journalist Zoreslav Zamoysky was found dead by local residents in Bucha. It appeared to be a violent death.

March 11. Viktor Dedov, senior camera operator at independent television station Sigma TV, was killed when a shell hit his apartment building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

March 11. Ukrainian journalist and blogger Oksana Haidar was killed on or around March 11, 2022, by Russian artillery shelling of the village of Shevchenkove, northeast of 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.

April 28. Vira Hyrych, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian service, was killed by Russian shelling in the Shevchenko district of Kyiv.

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.

April 26, 2023. Ukrainian journalist Bogdan Bitik, working with reporters for Italian newspaper La Repubblica, was shot dead by Russian snipers near Kherson, in southern Ukraine.

May 9, 2023. AFP journalist Arman Soldin was killed by rocket fire near Chasiv Yar in Eastern Ukraine.

July 22, 2023. Rostislav Zhuravlev, war correspondent for Russian state agency RIA, was killed and three other journalists injured during a Ukrainian strike in the Zaporizhzhia occupied region of Ukraine.

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

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