June 18, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Two Russian journalists killed in eastern Ukraine

Anton Voloshin, a soundman employed by Russian public broadcaster VGTRK, was killed by the same mortar shell that also killed VGTRK reporter Igor Kornelyuk yesterday near Metallist, a village in the eastern region of Luhansk (see below).

Voloshin was originally reported missing, but his body was found yesterday evening and was identified by VGTRK cameraman Viktor Denisov, who survived the shelling. Their employer confirmed the news at around 22:30 pm.

Voloshin’s death brings the number of media workers killed in Ukraine in connection with their work since the start of the year to five ­– two reporters, one photo-journalist, one fixer and one media technician (Voloshin).


17.06.2014 - Fourth journalist killed in Ukraine, colleague missing

Russian TV reporter Igor Kornelyuk was fatally injured today by a mortar shell outside Metallist, a village near the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, while his soundman, Anton Voloshin, has been missing since the shelling.

Employed by Russian public broadcaster VGTRK, Igor Kornelyuk (Игорь Корнелюк) was the fourth journalist to be killed in connection with his work in Ukraine since the start of the year.

Kornelyuk’s cameraman, Viktor Denisov, said he, Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were accompanying a group of refugees and rebels when they came under mortar fire. Kornelyuk was taken to Luhansk state hospital where he died on the operating table. Voloshin’s fate is currently unknown.

“The violence affecting journalists in Ukraine is reaching unprecedented levels,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “We again call on the belligerents to do whatever is necessary to protect journalists, as required by international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1738.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Kornelyuk’s family and colleagues. A full and impartial investigation must be carried out to shed light on his death and the deaths of the other journalists killed in this conflict.”

The three other media fatalities have been Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his fixer, the well-known Russian human rights defender Andrei Mironov, who were killed by a mortar shell near Sloviansk, in the Donetsk region, on 24 May, and Ukrainian newspaper reporter Vyacheslav Veremiy, who was gunned down in Kiev on 19 February after covering the Maidan Square protests.

More than 200 journalists have also been injured or attacked in Ukraine since the start of the year.

Reporting has become extremely difficult for journalists since the clashes between the central authorities and the anti-Kiev rebels developed into an armed conflict in April.

Dozens of journalists, bloggers and netizens have been taken hostage by anti-Kiev groups, while arrests of Russian journalists by the Ukrainian armed forces are becoming more frequent. The information war waged by the parties to the conflict has resulted in constant attacks on TV retransmission centres and harassment of local media in eastern Ukraine. Many journalists have also been harassed, attacked or detained in Crimea since its incorporation into Russia in March.

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"Репортеры без границ" шокированы гибелью журналиста под Луганском (РИА Новости)

(Photos: Sergey Gapon / AFP, Itar / Tass)