List of journalists killed during the Russo-Ukrainian War

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At least 14 civilian journalists and media workers have been killed in the line of duty during the Russo-Ukrainian War as of 5 April 2022. Six have been Russian, four Ukrainian, one Italian, one American, one Lithuanian, and one Irish.

An initial wave of journalist fatalities occurred in the early stages of the War in Donbas in 2014, starting with Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter, Russian activist Andrei Mironov. In the following four months, four Russian journalists in the company of Russian separatist forces were killed by Ukrainian fire, as was one Ukrainian journalist in an incident that both sides in the conflict blamed on each other. Two pairs of killings led to legal proceedings: In Rocchelli and Mironov's deaths, Ukrainian National Guard member Vitalii Markiv was tried in Italy for allegedly ordering the strike. He was convicted but later exonerated. In the deaths of Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin by mortar strike, captured Ukrainian Army pilot Nadiya Savchenko was tried in Russia for allegedly ordering the strike. She was convicted and subsequently freed in a prisoner exchange with Ukraine. The relationship between Russian journalists and separatist forces became a subject of controversy.[1]

A second wave of deaths began with the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Yevhenii Sakun, a Ukrainian, was the first journalist killed in that phase of the war, a victim of a Russian airstrike on the Kyiv TV Tower on 1 March 2022. Six more journalists have been killed by Russian soldiers, including four shot and one killed by shelling. The dead include American documentarian Brent Renaud, Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin, and most recently Lithuanian documentarian Mantas Kvedaravičius.

In addition, at least five journalists have been killed while serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the Russian separatist forces in Donbas and at least two Ukrainian journalists have been killed outside the line of duty.

Civilian journalists killed in the line of duty

Fourteen journalists and media workers are listed by the Committee to Protect Journalists's database as of 5 April 2022 as having been killed in the Russo-Ukrainian War—seven in the war in Donbas in 2014–2015,[2] seven in the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.[3]

Andrea Rocchelli and Andrei Mironov

caption
Andrei Mironov

Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and Russian journalist and activist Andrei Mironov, who was serving as Rocchelli's fixer and interpreter,[4][5] were killed on 24 May 2014 near the city of Slovyansk.[4] The two men, plus French reporter William Roguelon, and a local driver were fired at on the way to their car. Roguelon stated that they were then targeted with 40 to 60 mortars.[6][7]

Legal proceedings against Vitalii Markiv
A man in a military uniform sits in an ornately-decorated room, smiling
Markiv shortly after his exoneration in Rocchelli and Mironov's deaths

In July 2019, an Italian court convicted Vitalii Markiv, an Italian-Ukrainian dual citizen and an officer in the National Guard of Ukraine, of directing the strike that killed Rocchelli and Mironov.[8] Markiv's conviction was overturned in November 2020,[9] a decision made final by the Supreme Court of Cassation in December 2021.[10]

Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin

Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, correspondent and sound engineer respectively for Russian state-owned broadcasting company VGTRK,[11][12] were struck by Ukrainian mortar shells on 17 June 2014 while filming a separatist roadblock[13] in Metalist, Slovianoserbsk Raion. Voloshin died instantly,[12] while Kornelyuk died later that day.[11]

Both men were posthumously awarded the Russian Order of Courage by Vladimir Putin.[14]

Legal proceedings against Nadiya Savchenko
A young woman with a crew cut frowns inside of a cage, her arms on her hips
Savchenko on trial in Moscow for Kornelyuk and Voloshin's deaths

Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian army helicopter pilot, was captured by separatists the same day and was accused of directing the mortar strike.[15] She claimed that she had rather been captured an hour before the attack.[16] Savchenko was convicted by a Russian court on 21 March 2016,[17] in what Amnesty International characterized as a "flawed, deeply politicized trial".[18] She was pardoned by Vladimir Putin as a result of a prisoner swap for two Russian soldiers two months later.[19]

Anatoly Klyan

Anatoly Klyan, a camera operator for Russian Channel One, was killed by Ukrainian soldiers while traveling with a group of protesting soldiers' mothers on 30 June 2014 in Donetsk region.[20][21] The trip had been organized by separatists and the driver was wearing camouflage.[20] Klyan continued to film the attack until he grew too weak.[20]

Andrey Stenin

Andrey Stenin, a Russian photojournalist and correspondent for several Russian and international news agencies, disappeared on 5 August 2014 while embedded with Russian-backed forces in Donetsk.[22] He was confirmed dead on 3 September 2014.[23]

Stenin died alongside Donetsk People's Republic militia Information Corps members Sergei Korenchenkov and Andrei Vyachalo (see § Sergei Korenchenkov and Andrei Vyachalo). Their deaths were not announced until ten days after his. The Interpreter magazine, a publication of the Institute of Modern Russia, suggested that Russia was trying to obscure the connection between Stenin and militia members.[1] Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov insulted Stenin as a zampolit (military political indoctrinator) rather than a journalist.[1]

Stenin was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by Vladimir Putin.[24]

Serhiy Nikolayev

Serhiy Nikolayev, a photojournalist with the Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya, died along with soldier Mykola "Tank" Flerko during the shelling of the village of Pisky on 28 February 2015.[25] Nikolayev was wearing a bulletproof vest marked "PRESS".[26] Both sides in the war blamed each other.[27]

Nikolayev had previously been attacked by the Berkut special police while reporting on the Euromaidan demonstrations in 2013.[26] After his death he was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by Petro Poroshenko.[28]

Yevhenii Sakun

The strike on the Kyiv TV Tower

Yevhenii Sakun,[bio 1] a photojournalist for Ukrainian TV channel LIVE and correspondent with EFE, was killed by an attack on the Kyiv TV Tower on 1 March 2022,[29][31] in what Reporters Without Borders described as a "precision strike" on the facility.[32]

Brent Renaud

caption
Brent Renaud

Brent Renaud, a journalist for The New York Times and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, was shot dead by Russian soldiers while at a checkpoint in Irpin on 13 March 2022.[33][34] Renaud, who was known for his work depicting refugees and deportees, had been filming evacuating refugees,[35] according to his colleague Juan Arredondo [ca].[36]

Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova

Pierre "Zak" Zakrzewski,[bio 2] an Irish photojournalist for Fox News, and Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova,[bio 3] a Ukrainian freelancer working with Fox, were killed on 14 March 2022 when their vehicle came under fire in Horenka, Kyiv Oblast.[41][42] British journalist Benjamin Hall, also of Fox, was wounded in the same attack.[43]

Zakrzewski had worked as a freelancer for some years, but had "with mixed feelings" moved to Fox partly because it was too dangerous to work in conflict areas without the support of a media organization.[38] He had worked for Fox in the Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, and Syrian civil war,[40] and had received Fox's "Unsung Hero" employee award for his role in evacuating Afghan freelancers and their families after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.[44] Shortly before his death, he had found an abandoned infant on the streets of Kyiv and brought it to a hospital.[38]

Kuvshynova had been guiding Fox crews and assisting with newsgathering.[45]

Oksana Baulina

Oksana Baulina

Oksana Baulina,[bio 4] a Russian journalist for the independent investigative website The Insider, was killed in the Podilskyi District of Kyiv on 23 March by Russian shelling. She had been filming the site of a Russian rocket strike on a shopping center. Another civilian was killed in the same attack.[48]

Baulina, once a fashion editor at Time Out Moscow, became an activist with Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation in 2016.[49] She emigrated to Poland shortly before the organization was branded extremist by the Russian government.[49] Before the invasion, she was based in Warsaw,[50] and during the invasion had reported from Kyiv and Lviv.[48] Her final work included interviews with Russian prisoners of war, whom she let call home using her cell phone.[49]

Maks Levin

Maks Levin, a Ukrainian photojournalist working for the media outlet LB.ua, went missing on 13 March 2022 and was found dead near the village of Huta-Mezhyhirska in the Kyiv region on 1 April 2022. According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office, he was fatally shot twice by Russian soldiers while wearing a press jacket.[51] Levin had worked with Reuters, the BBC, and the Associated Press, among other news organizations. Most of his documentary projects were related to the war in Ukraine.[52]

Levin disappeared along with Oleksiy Chernyshov, another Ukrainian journalist, who as of 2 April 2022 has not been found, according to the Institute of Mass Information.[53][54]

Mantas Kvedaravičius

Mantas Kvedaravičius, a Lithuanian documentary film director, was killed on 2 April 2022 while trying to leave the besieged city of Mariupol, the life of which he had documented for many years.[55] According to the Russian film director Vitaly Mansky, Kvedaravičius "died with a camera in his hand". Kvedaravičius had earlier worked to document torture and forced disappearances in Russia's North Caucasus region, his 2011 documentary about war-ravaged Chechnya being awarded an Amnesty International prize.[56]

Civilian journalists killed outside the line of duty

At least two Ukrainian journalists have been killed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine while not engaged in news-gathering. They are not included in the Committee to Protect Journalists's list.[2][3]

Dilerbek Shakirov

Iryna Venediktova,[57] Prosecutor General of Ukraine, said in a Facebook post that Dilerbek Shukurovich Shakirov, a freelance journalist for weekly newspaper Navkolo tebe (Around You)[58] was shot dead on 26 February 2022, in Zelenivka, Kherson Oblast.[59][60] A representative of the Institute of Mass Information confirmed his death;[58] the IMI listed him separate from journalists killed in the line of duty.[61] The BBC reported Venediktova's statement but did not independently confirm it.[62]

Venediktova said that Shakirov was a member of the "House of Hope" charitable organization; the IMI said that he had been a part of Kherson's self-defense forces from 2014 to 2015.[58] Venediktova said that Shakirov had been killed by Russian soldiers firing an automatic weapon from a car.[57][63]

Viktor Dedov

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine reported on March 23, 2022, that Viktor Dedov, a camera operator with Sigma [uk; ru], had been killed on March 11 when his apartment building in Mariupol was shelled,[64][65] which his wife, Natalya Dedova, had announced on Facebook on 20 March.[66] The shelling also wounded Dedova and other family members.[67] A subsequent shelling set fire to the building and prevented the family from burying the body.[64][68]

Journalists killed while serving in the military

At least three Ukrainians and two separatists have been killed while serving as military journalists or while serving as soldiers independent of their work as journalists. They are not included in the Committee to Protect Journalists's list.[2][3]

Sergei Korenchenkov and Andrei Vyachalo

Sergei Korenchenkov and Andrei Vyachalo, correspondents with the Donetsk People's Republic militia's Information Corps, disappeared alongside Andrey Stenin on 5 August 2014 (see § Andrey Stenin). Ten days after Stenin's body was found, pro-Russian newspaper Golos Sevastopolya reported the remains of both Korenchenkov and Vyachalo's had been found at the same time as his body.[1] The two were among the first on the scene after militia forces shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and The Interpreter magazine speculated they may have known which rebels shot down the airliner.[1]

Oleh Zadoyanchuk

Oleh Zadoyanchuk,[bio 5] a soldier in the 12th Territorial Defence Battalion and journalist with state news agency Ukrinform, was killed by Russian artillery shelling on 4 September 2014.[69]

Dmytro Labutkin

Dmytro Labutkin,[bio 6] a military journalist with the Sevastopol TV channel Breeze [uk] prior to Russia's annexation of Crimea, died on 16 February 2015 during the Battle of Debaltseve.[70][71]

Viktor Dudar

Viktor Dudar,[bio 7] the defense correspondent for the Lviv-based newspaper Expres and a volunteer paratrooper, was fatally shot by Russian soldiers while fighting in Mykolaiv. His death was announced on 7 March 2022.[72] He was not working as a journalist at the time;[30] he had re-enlisted in the military on 24 February, having previously served in Donbas from 2014 to 2015. He was among the first Ukrainian soldiers killed in the invasion.[73]

Biographical notes

  1. ^ Ukrainian: Євгеній Сакун,[29] also transliterated Evgeny Sakin[30]
  2. ^ Zakrzewski (/ˈzækʃɛvsk/ ZAK-shev-skee[37]) was born in August 1966 in Paris to a French mother and Polish father. He was raised in Ireland.[38]
  3. ^ Kuvshynova (Ukrainian: Олександра Кувшинова,[39] also transliterated Kuvshinova[37]) was 24 at the time of her death.[40]
  4. ^ Oksana Viktorovna Baulina (Russian: Оксана Викторовна Баулина)[46] was born 1 November 1979 in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.[47]
  5. ^ Ukrainian: Задоянчук Олег Іванович
  6. ^ Ukrainian: Дмитро Лабуткін
  7. ^ Ukrainian: Віктор Дудар[72]

References

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