Russia kills the truth about invasion to Ukraine: losses among journalists during 60th day of war

During the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine (February 24, 2022), Ukrainian and international media journalists have been killed and injured while working. In total, according to the Institute of Mass Media, as of April 24, the Russian occupiers committed 243 crimes against media people in Ukraine. This data is constantly updating.

Killed

Not while on duty, but three Ukrainian journalists were killed by Russian military. Dealerbek Shakirov, a journalist with the information weekly “Around You” (“Navkolo Tebe”), died on February 26 in the village of Zelenivka, Kherson oblast. The Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova reported that the man was shot from the car from the automatic weapon by Russian military.

On March 1, during a rocket attack by Russian tower on a TV tower in Kyiv, Live TV operator Evgeniy Sakun, who was passing by it at the time, was killed.

On March 2, Serhii Pushchenko was killed in a battle with Russian saboteurs in Vasylkiv. Pushchenko was an artist, Honored Artist of Ukraine, as well as a member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and a veteran of the ATO. 

On March 6 in fight near Mykolaiv, the Ukrainian military journalist Victor Dudar, who was then a part of Armed Forces of Ukraine, was killed.

On March 11 in Mariupol as a result of shelling of the house the operator of the “Sigma” TV channel Victor Dedov was killed. Two mines hit Victor’s apartment, where his family was with him. The operator died, other family members were injured. 

On March 13, in Irpin, the Russian military shot an American reporter, documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud. Renaud together with American photographer Juan Arredondo that day were filming the evacuation of people from Irpin across the destroyed bridge.

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Irish journalist Oleksandra Kuvshinova were killed on March 14 in Gorenka village, Kyiv oblast. The car in which they were traveling with the British correspondent of the TV channel Benjamin Hall came under artillery fire from Russian troops.

The editor of the Zaporizhzhia site Misto.zp.ua Oleg Yakunin died on March 18 in a battle with the occupiers.

Lilia Gumyanova, a teacher of journalism, was killed in a rocket attack in Mariupol on March 19

Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, who worked for The Insider, died on March 23. The journalist came under fire in Kyiv while performing an editorial task. Oksana Baulina removed the destruction after the shelling of the Podilsk raion of the capital and came under new rocket fire.  

On March 23 in the Luhansk oblast, near Popasna, the operator of the 24th channel Yuriy Oliynyk was killed in battle. Yuriy was a veteran — he first went to war in 2014. In 2022, he again went to the front as a volunteer in the 24th separate mechanized brigade named after King Daniel.

On March 24, two media people were killed in battles near Kyiv: the publicist Serhiy Zaikovsky and employee of the press service of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs Denys Kotenko. They fought as part of the anti-tank platoon of the 1st Battalion Special Detachment of the Special Forces of the Armed Forces of “Azov”.

On April 1, the body of murdered photojournalist Maks Levin was found in the village of Guta Mezhyhirska, Vyshhorod raion, Kyiv oblast. According to preliminary information from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Russian military killed the unarmed Maks Levin with two shots from small arms. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy posthumously awarded the photojournalist with the “Order of Courage”.

Journalist, writer, volunteer Yevhen Bal died of torture on April 2 in Melekino, near Mariupol. According to the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, the 78-year-old journalist was abducted by Russian military, who searched the house and then tortured its owner for three days. The injuries were fatal, and the journalist died a few weeks later.

Mantas Kvedaravičius, the Lithuanian documentary filmmaker and director of “Mariupolis” film about the war in Donbas, died in Mariupol on April 3. Suspilne provides information of the Lithuanian edition 15min: a Russian rocket hit the car in which the director was driving. Kvedaravičius was rushed to hospital but his life was not saved. According to preliminary information from the Lithuanian media, during the filming in Ukraine, the film director managed to capture the Russians, he had a broken arm.

In early April, in the village of Yagidne near Chernihiv, the Russian military killed Roman Nezhyborets, video engineer of the Chernihiv channel “Dytynets”. The TV channel reported his death on April 10.

The body of the murdered journalist Zoreslav Zamoysky was found in Bucha on April 13, the Irpin city council reported. Zoreslav Zamoysky collaborated with “Hromada Pryirpinnia” and “Information Portal”. He did not get in touch after March 4.

Injured

On February 26, journalist Stefan Weichert and photographer Emil Filtenborg Mikkelsen came under fire in the town of Okhtyrka in Sumy oblast. Their car marked “TV” on the glass without warning was shot by a man in clothes without identification from a weapon “resembling an assault rifle”. Both journalists were injured.

On February 28, near the village of Stoyanka, Kyiv oblast, Russian saboteurs fired on the camera crew of the British TV channel Sky News. Correspondent Stewart Ramsay was injured in the lower back, cameraman Richie Mockler was saved from two direct shots by a bulletproof vest. 

On March 6 near the village of Vodiano-Lorine of the Mykolaiv oblast the Russian military wounded the Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet. He received shrapnel wounds to his face and forearms. According to the correspondent, a few minutes after crossing the Ukrainian checkpoint, the Russian military fired at his car at close range, which was clearly visible “Press”. 

Ukrainian Radio Liberty correspondent Maryan Kushnir was injured on March 11 in Baryshivka, Kyiv oblast, as a result of a nighttime missile strike or an air strike by Russian troops. The journalist received a contusion, on a short video on social networks it is visible that there is a blood from ears of the man. The journalist was given medical care by military medics and is now in a satisfactory condition.

On March 13, in Irpin, the Russian military fired on a car carrying American journalists. Photojournalist Juan Arredondo received a shrapnel wound to the thigh, his colleague Brent Renaud died from a neck injury. Arredondo was taken to “Okhmatdyt” hospital in Kyiv, where he was operated on twice by surgeons.

March 14 in Kiev oblast, the Russian military wounded the British correspondent of Fox News Benjamin Hall. According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova, he received a fragmentary fracture of both legs. Subsequently, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine added that doctors were forced to partially amputate Hall’s leg.

On March 25, “1+1” journalist Andriy Tsaplienko received a shrapnel wound. According to him, the injury is not serious. As reported by “1+1” media, in the evening of March 25, Andriy Tsaplienko together with journalists of the Turkish English-language channel TRT World recorded the holding of a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians in Chernihiv oblast.

Survived

On March 4, in Kalynivka, Kyiv oblast, a car of Czech Voxpot reporters Maida Slamova and Vojtech Bogach, marked as “Press”, came under targeted shelling by Russian military. They were accompanied by two unnamed Ukrainian colleagues. All journalists survived, but numerous shots from a Kalashnikov rifle remained on the car door.

On March 6, in Irpin, the Russian military fired on the car of the camera crew of the pan-Arab TV channel Al-Araby TV, despite the fact that journalists hung a white flag on it and had a “Press” sign. Correspondent Adnan Khan and his cameraman colleague Khabip Demirchi were forced to leave the car and hide in the homes of local residents.

On March 15, journalists from TSN, ICTV “Fakty” and “Nastoyascheye Vremya” came under artillery fire in Kyiv oblast. After the defeat in the tank battle, the Russians began shelling the villages and roads in the northern direction. The shelling met the film crew in the field. Journalists managed to hide in a ditch under the road. No one was injured.

On April 4 in the south of Mykolaiv the CNN film crew came under artillery fire. The car of the journalists was damaged but none of the team was injured. The film crew included CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman, producer Karim Gaddar, photojournalist John Torrigo and translator Valeria Dubrovska. 

On April 21 Suspilne Mykolaiv branch came under rocket fire. There are no casualties, the editorial office continues to work.

Disappeared

On March 28, UNIAN correspondent Dmitro Khilyuk disappeared and is probably a prisoner of the Russian military. This was announced on Facebook by journalist Natalia Boguta.

On March 31, it became known that Kherson journalist Kostiantyn Ryzhenko had disappeared. An anonymous Telegram channel connected with Kherson law enforcement officers was the first to report the journalist’s disappearance. The news later appeared on a Telegram channel run by local pro-Russian collaborators. In the evening of March 31, a post appeared on Ryzhenko’s Telegram channel which the author called as postponed and one that should have been published in case something happened to him. On March 12, Kostiantyn Ryzhenko, who was an active volunteer in occupied Kherson, told Radio Svoboda that he was wanted by Russian occupiers.

On April 1, a Telegram channel from the collaborationist Kherson Rescue Committee reported that the Russians had fired Kostiantyn Ryzhenko but neither Ryzhenko himself nor his friends confirmed this.

As of April 24, the fate of 14 journalists from Mariupol is unknown. The Institute of Mass Media considers them missing because it is impossible to verify what happened to them. 

Kidnapped

On March 21, journalist Oleh Baturyn was released after eight days in captivity. The journalist from Nova Kakhovka was abducted on March 12. “On March 12, at 5:00 pm, I was caught at the Kakhovka bus station. They were beating. They were humiliated. They were threatening. They said they would kill. Almost eight days. 187 hours of captivity. Virtually no food. Some days almost without water. No soap, no change of clothes. Without understanding where I am … They wanted to break, trample. To show what will happen to every journalist: you will be crushed. You will be killed», — tells the journalist about being in captivity. After his release from captivity, the journalist’s relatives were threatened. The journalist reported about it on April 16. The Russians demand that Oleh Baturyn stop his professional activity.

On March 21, Russian occupiers released journalist Victoria Roshchyna. Hromadske journalist worked in Berdiansk, where she was detained by Russian FSB officers. After several days in captivity, she was forced to record a video in which Roshchyna denies her claims to the Russian secret services and thanks them for saving them. As the journalist later explained, this video was a condition of her release.

In Melitopol on March 21, representatives of the occupying authorities kidnapped several employees of the editorial office of “Melitopol Vidomosti” (MV), according to the local newspaper RIA-Melitopol.

“Armed journalists came to the house of journalists Yulia Olkhovska and Lyubov Chaika, publisher Mykhailo Kumok, and editor-in-chief of Melitopol Vidomosti newspaper Yevhenia Boryan, took them away and took them to an unknown destination. The Russians are trying to cooperate”, — it is said in the message on MV website. MV website is currently down but the publication reported a theft in a Telegram channel.

March 26 in Prymorsk, Zaporizhzhia oblast Russian occupiers kidnapped activist Konstantin Ovsyannikov. For the last ten years Konstantin Ovsyannikov has been involved in public activities in Prymorsk: he heads the public organization “Prymorsk 24/7” and the city youth center “Portal it”.

On March 28, Zaporizhzhia journalist Iryna Dubchenko was detained by Russian occupiers and taken to Donetsk. She was arrested in Rozivka, where she was caring for her old grandmother. This was reported by journalist Yakov Noskov. Dubchenko is accused of supporting and hiding the Ukrainian military. According to Noskov, it was handed over to the occupiers by locals.

On April 3, in Nova Kakhovka, Russian occupiers abducted Oleksandr Hunko. He was taken in an unknown direction. Oleksandr Hunko is a journalist, an editor of the online publication “Nova Kakhovka City”. According to the daughter of the kidnapped journalist, before that, his house was searched.

Threats and restrictions on work

Radio station “Klass” which operated in the city of Izium (Kharkiv oblast), stopped broadcasting due to the Russian occupation. She has not been working in Izium since February 26 and in Kostiantynivka (Donetsk oblast) since March 14. This decision was made by radio station after all employees left Izium. It was also decided to stop broadcasting so as not to become a Russian broadcaster in the event of the capture of the city.

Ukrainian media and journalists regularly receive threatening letters from Russia. For example, on April 7, “Poltava Oblast News” received similar letters. In them, journalists were threatened with criminal liability for allegedly fake information about the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine. The editorial office has received such letters before. Volyn editions “Volyn Online” and “Konkurent”, as well as Zaporizhzhia editions 061.ua, inform.zp.ua also received threatening letters. Since March 15, the journalist of the Volyn site Racurs.ua Yuriy Konkevych has been regularly receiving letters with threats of imprisonment.

On April 12, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office decided to block the website of the Ukrainian Institute of Mass Media, as well as a number of Ukrainian media: dev.ua, “Apostrophe”, “Censor”, “Hromadske Radio”, “Gazeta.ua”, “Syohodni (“Today”)”, MigNews. In total, the Russian prosecutor’s office blocked access to 24 Ukrainian sites.

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