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[update]. 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.
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[update] as having been killed in the Russo-Ukrainian War—seven in the war in Donbas in 2014–2015, seven in the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Andrea Rocchelli and Andrei Mironov
Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and Russian journalist and activist Andrei Mironov, who was serving as Rocchelli's fixer and interpreter, were killed on 24 May 2014 near the city of Slovyansk. 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.
Legal proceedings against Vitalii Markiv
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. Markiv's conviction was overturned in November 2020, a decision made final by the Supreme Court of Cassation in December 2021.
Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin
Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, correspondent and sound engineer respectively for Russian state-owned broadcasting company VGTRK, were struck by Ukrainian mortar shells on 17 June 2014 while filming a separatist roadblock in Metalist, Slovianoserbsk Raion. Voloshin died instantly, while Kornelyuk died later that day.
Legal proceedings against Nadiya Savchenko
Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian army helicopter pilot, was captured by separatists the same day and was accused of directing the mortar strike. She claimed that she had rather been captured an hour before the attack. Savchenko was convicted by a Russian court on 21 March 2016, in what Amnesty International characterized as a "flawed, deeply politicized trial". She was pardoned by Vladimir Putin as a result of a prisoner swap for two Russian soldiers two months later.
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. The trip had been organized by separatists and the driver was wearing camouflage. Klyan continued to film the attack until he grew too weak.
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. He was confirmed dead on 3 September 2014.
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. Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov insulted Stenin as a zampolit (military political indoctrinator) rather than a journalist.
Stenin was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by Vladimir Putin.
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. Nikolayev was wearing a bulletproof vest marked "PRESS". Both sides in the war blamed each other.
Nikolayev had previously been attacked by the Berkut special police while reporting on the Euromaidan demonstrations in 2013. After his death he was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by Petro Poroshenko.
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, in what Reporters Without Borders described as a "precision strike" on the facility.
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. Renaud, who was known for his work depicting refugees and deportees, had been filming evacuating refugees, according to his colleague Juan Arredondo.
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. British journalist Benjamin Hall, also of Fox, was wounded in the same attack.
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. He had worked for Fox in the Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, and Syrian civil war, 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. Shortly before his death, he had found an abandoned infant on the streets of Kyiv and brought it to a hospital.
Kuvshynova had been guiding Fox crews and assisting with newsgathering.
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.
Baulina, once a fashion editor at Time Out Moscow, became an activist with Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation in 2016. She emigrated to Poland shortly before the organization was branded extremist by the Russian government. Before the invasion, she was based in Warsaw, and during the invasion had reported from Kyiv and Lviv. Her final work included interviews with Russian prisoners of war, whom she let call home using her cell phone.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, said in a Facebook post that Dilerbek Shukurovich Shakirov, a freelance journalist for weekly newspaper Navkolo tebe (Around You) was shot dead on 26 February 2022, in Zelenivka, Kherson Oblast. A representative of the Institute of Mass Information confirmed his death; the IMI listed him separate from journalists killed in the line of duty. The BBC reported Venediktova's statement but did not independently confirm it.
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. Venediktova said that Shakirov had been killed by Russian soldiers firing an automatic weapon from a car.
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine reported on March 23, 2022, that Viktor Dedov, a camera operator with Sigma, had been killed on March 11 when his apartment building in Mariupol was shelled, which his wife, Natalya Dedova, had announced on Facebook on 20 March. The shelling also wounded Dedova and other family members. A subsequent shelling set fire to the building and prevented the family from burying the body.
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.
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. 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.
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. He was not working as a journalist at the time; 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.
- Ukrainian: Євгеній Сакун, also transliterated Evgeny Sakin
- Zakrzewski (// ZAK-shev-skee) was born in August 1966 in Paris to a French mother and Polish father. He was raised in Ireland.
- Kuvshynova (Ukrainian: Олександра Кувшинова, also transliterated Kuvshinova) was 24 at the time of her death.
- Oksana Viktorovna Baulina (Russian: Оксана Викторовна Баулина) was born 1 November 1979 in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.
- Ukrainian: Задоянчук Олег Іванович
- Ukrainian: Дмитро Лабуткін
- Ukrainian: Віктор Дудар
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- "News photographer from Segodnya newspaper killed by shell in Pisky". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
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- "Ukraine's pro-Russia rebels claim to withdraw, Kyiv skeptical". Deutsche Welle. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
- "Sergey Nikolaev, photographer of the newspaper "Today" was awarded the title of "national Hero of Ukraine (posthumously)". Slava Ukraine (in English, Ukrainian, and French).
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- Reporters Without Borders (5 March 2022). "RSF refers Russian strikes on four Ukrainian TV towers to International Criminal Court". Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- Bowman, Verity (13 March 2022). "US journalist Brent Renaud 'killed in Ukraine'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
- "Acclaimed filmmaker Brent Renaud shot, killed in Ukraine". The Associated Press. 13 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
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- "'They started shooting at us' - US journalist's colleague". BBC News. 13 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
- "Fox News mourns Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova". Fox News. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022 – via YouTube.
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- "Fox News' Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshinova killed in Kyiv". BBC News. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- "Two journalists killed in attack while reporting in Ukraine". ITV News. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
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- "'У нее хватало сил переживать за всех нас. И она люто ненавидела режим'" ["She had the strength to worry about all of us. And she fiercely hated the regime"]. Holod (in Russian). 24 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
- "Missing Ukrainian Photojournalist Levin Found Dead Near Kyiv". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2 April 2022. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
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- "Lithuanian documentary maker Kvedaravicius killed in Ukraine's Mariupol". Reuters. 3 April 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
- "Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius killed in Ukraine". LRT.lt. Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija. 3 April 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
- Venediktova, Iryna (26 February 2021). "… розстріляний цивільний журналіст, згорілі поранений і водій швидкої , невідома доля мешканців зруйнованого будинку Харкова …" [Shot dead a civilian journalist, burned and wounded an ambulance driver, unknown fate for the residents of the destroyed house in Kharkiv] (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 24 March 2022 – via Facebook.
- Institute of Mass Information (5 March 2022). "Journalist shot dead near Kherson". Retrieved 27 February 2022.
- "Russian troops shot a journalist in Kherson". Ukrayinska Pravda. 5 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- Thakuria, Nava. "PEC condemns killing of scribes in Ukraine, criticises Taliban for continued atrocities on journalists". Press Emblem Campaign. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
- "Протягом місяця з початку широкомасштабного вторгнення росії в Україну було вбито п'ятеро журналістів під час виконання професійних обов'язків" [Five journalists killed in the line of duty in the month since Russia's large-scale Russian invasion began] (in Ukrainian). 24 March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2022 – via Facebook.
- "Ukraine war: Russian journalist Oksana Baulina killed in Kyiv shelling". BBC News. 23 March 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
The Press Emblem campaign reports that Ukrainian journalist Shakirov Dilerbek Shukurovych was killed on 26 February, two days after the invasion began.
- Quinn, Allison (27 February 2022). "Explosions Light Up Kyiv as Russia's Attack on Ukraine Kills Even More Civilians". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
- National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (23 March 2022). "У Маріуполі після обстрілів загинув оператор телеканалу «Сігма» Вікт" [In Mariupol, a camera operator of the Sigma TV channel, Viktor Dedov, was killed after the shelling] (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- Committee to Protect Journalists (11 March 2022). "Russia-Ukraine watch". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- Dedova, Natalya (20 March 2022). "9 дней назад, 11 марта, в обед, мой мир рухнул. Две мины. Первая - в нашу спальню. Там я и мама. Вторая - в нашу кухню. Там - Витя" [9 days ago, March 11, at lunchtime, my world collapsed. Two shells. The first went into our bedroom. That is where my mom and I were. The second went into our kitchen. That is where Vitya was.] (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 March 2022 – via Facebook.
- Institute for Mass Information (23 March 2022). "SIGMA operator Viktor Dedov died in Mariupol". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- European Federation of Journalists (23 March 2022). "Ukraine: cameraman Viktor Dedov was killed by Russian bombing in Mariupol". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
- "Ukrinform journalist Oleh Zadoyanchuk killed in Donbas". Ukrinform. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- Institute of Mass Information (22 March 2015). "Death of military journalist Dmytro Labutkin confirmed". Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (23 March 2015). "Death confirmed of Ukrainian military journalist at Debaltseve". Retrieved 16 March 2022.
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