Russia is shooting the truth about the invasion of Ukraine: losses among journalists during the 41st day of the war
During the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine (on February 24, 2022), Ukrainian and international media journalists have been killed and injured while working.
In total, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, as of April 4, the Russian occupiers committed 74 crimes against 56 media people, 19 of them citizens of other countries. This data is constantly updated.
Not in the line of duty but three Ukrainian journalists were killed by Russian military. Dealerbek Shakirov, a journalist of the information weekly “Around You”, 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 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 Diedov 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 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. Journalists decided to go deep into the city, near the Romaniv bridge the driver of green “Lada” offered to drive them — they agreed. In Irpin, Renaud and Arredondo asked to stop at the Yesenin residential complex which had been completely destroyed by Russian shelling, to film it. At that moment, two Russian servicemen appeared nearby. They fired warning shots, after which the driver of the car reacted and started running away with the journalists. Then the Russians opened fire on the defeat. Renaud was wounded in the neck and died on the spot. In Ukraine, he was working on a project on the global refugee crisis for Time Studios, the company’s film and television division.
Brent Renaud has repeatedly covered hotspots in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya, as well as the refugee crisis in Africa. For his collaboration with his brother Craig Renaud on documentaries, Brent has received numerous international awards, including Peabody, the Columbia DuPont Awards, and the Overseas Press Club Award.
The cameraman Pierre Zakzewski, an Irishman, Fox News TV channel operator and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova died on March 14 in the village of Gorenka, 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. “Pierre was a military photographer in the war zone who covered for Fox News almost all the international news from Iraq to Afghanistan and Syria during his long career here”, — said Fox News Media CEO, Suzanne Scott.
On March 18, in a battle with the occupiers, the editor of the Zaporizhia site Misto.zp.ua Oleg Yakunin died.
Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, who worked for The Insider died. The journalist came under fire in Kyiv while performing an editorial task. Oksana Baulina removed the destruction after the shelling of the Podilsk district of the capital and came under new rocket fire. Another civilian died with her.
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 24 separate mechanized brigade named after King Danylo.
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. Maks’s colleagues and friends have been looking for him since March 13, when he stopped to get in touch. Maks Levin has worked as a photojournalist and documentary photographer and cameraman for many Ukrainian and international publications. He has worked with Reuters, BBC, TRT World, Associated Press, LB.ua, Hromadske. Most of his documentary projects are related to the war in Donbas and Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi posthumously awarded the photojournalist with the “Order of Courage”.
Mantas Kvedaravičius, Lithuanian documentary filmmaker and director of the Mariupol film about the war in Donbass, died on April 3 in Mariupol. Suspilne (Public) provides information of the Lithuanian edition in 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.
On February 26, journalist Stefan Weichert and photographer Emil Filtenborg Mikkelsen came under fire in the town of Okhtyrka, Sumy oblast. Their car marked “TV” on the glass was shot without warning by a man in clothes without identification from a weapon “resembling an assault rifle”. Both journalists were wounded. As Weichert later testified, his colleague received shots in both legs and twice in the back, he was wounded in the shoulder. According to preliminary information, Russian saboteurs were operating near the Okhtyrka front line that day but it is currently impossible to establish who is behind the attack on journalists.
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 Stuart Ramsay was injured in the lower back, cameraman Richie Mockler was saved from two bullets by a bulletproof vest.
On March 6 near the village of Vodiano-Loryne of the Mykoliv area 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 with a clearly visible “Press” mark.
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 from ears of the man there is a blood. 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. Currently, his condition is stable.
On March 14 in Kiev oblast, the Russian military wounded the British correspondent of Fox News TV channel Benjamin Hall. According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova, he received a fragmentary fracture of both legs: “The journalist is currently in intensive care under medical supervision. […] This man was not at a military facility which, according to Russian officials, they are constantly aiming. He was seriously wounded while not at the military facility”. 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 “1 + 1 media” reported, in the evening of March 25, Andriy Tsaplienko together with journalists of the Turkish English-language channel TRT World were recording the holding of a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians in the Chernihiv oblast. “ There were many civilians and cars waiting for permission to cross to Chernihiv or pick up their relatives. After the drone recorded a crowd, 15 minutes later the shelling began. First they started firing from “Smerch”, then from 122 mm caliber artillery, then a mortar was connected, and at the final stage — a tank. All this lasted at least an hour and a half”, — Andriy Tsaplienko told.
On March 4 in Kalynivka, Kyiv oblast, a car of Czech Voxpot reporters Majda Slamova and Vojtěch Boháč, marked as the “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 Can Atayturkmen and his fellow cameraman Habip Demirci were forced to leave the car and hide in the homes of local residents.
On March 15, the journalists from TSN, ICTV’s “Fakty” and “Nastoyaschego 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 Gadder, photojournalist John Torrigo and translator Valeriya Dubrovska.
On March 31, it became known that Kherson journalist Konstantin 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 postponed and one that should have been published in case something happened to him. On March 12, Konstantin 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 Konstantin Ryzhenko, but neither Ryzhenko himself nor his friends confirmed this.
On March 21, journalist Oleh Baturyn was released after eight days in captivity. The journalist from Nova Kakhovka was kidnapped 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.
On March 21, Russian occupiers released journalist Victoriia Roshchyna. Journalist of Hromadske was working in Berdiansk, where she was detained by Russian FSS 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 her. As the journalist later explained, this video was a condition of her release.
On March 21 in Melitopol, representatives of the occupying authorities kidnapped several employees of the editorial office of ” Melitopolski Vedomosti ” (MV), according to the local newspaper RІА-Melitopol.
“Armed men came to the house of journalists Yuliya Olkhovska and Lyubov Chaika, publisher Mykhailo Kumok and editor-in-chief of the Melitopolski Vedomosti newspaper Yevhenia Boryan, took them away and took them to an unknown destination. The Russians are trying to achieve cooperation,” — it is said in the message on the MV website. The MV website is currently down, but the publication reported about a theft in a telegram channel.
On March 26 in Prymorsk, Zaporizhia oblast, the Russian occupiers kidnapped the activist Kostiantyn Ovsyannikov. For the last ten years Kostiantyn Ovsyannikov has been involved in public activities in Prymorsk: he heads the public organization “Prymorsk 24/7” and the city youth center “Portal is”. Since the beginning of the war, Kostiantyn has been actively covering the protests of Ukrainians against the occupiers in his city. After the kidnapping of a journalist and activist, the crisis media center “Seversky Donets”published a statement appealing to journalists: “There is currently no connection with Kostia and his whereabouts are unknown. We call on the Ukrainian and international community to join in the information and action to the immediate release of Kostiantyn Ovsyannikov, as well as other recently kidnapped Ukrainian activists, volunteers, journalists, local government officials and government officials”.
On 28th of March Iryna Dybchenko was captured by Russian occupants and taken to Donetsk. She was caught in Rozivka where she was looking after grandma. This was reported by Yakiv Noskov. Dubchenko is accused of supporting and hiding Ukrainian military. According to Noskov she was handed over to Russians by locals.
On April 3 in Nova Kakhovka, Russian occupiers kidnapped Oleksandr Gunko. He was taken in an unknown direction. Oleksandr Gunko — journalist, editor of the online publication “Nova Kakhovka City”. According to the daughter of the kidnapped journalist, before that his house was searched.
Fixation of war crimes
The human rights organization Euromaidan SOS compiles lists of missing and captured Russian activists, journalists, volunteers and local government representatives. “ In 2014, Russia has already pursued such a deliberate policy in order to quickly gain control over Ukrainian territories. At the time, pro-russian illegal armed groups were physically destroying or ousting active people outside the region who could peacefully resist the occupation. Today, Russia is deliberately repeating this policy because it cannot keep the cities it occupies due to the active opposition of the local population”, — it is said in their statement. In particular, Euromaidan SOS urges people who have witnessed the detention of a person or have any other information about persecution in the occupied territories to report it via the оnline form.