“The VGTRK reporter wounded in a shelling off Luhansk has died,” the report said. Cameraman Viktor Denisov, who worked with Kornelyuk, is alive, according to the television company. There has been no information about the fate of their colleague, recording engineer Anton Voloshin, who was hurt in the shelling as well.
Chief physician of the Luhansk regional hospital Fyodor Solyanik confirmed to ITAR-TASS that Kornelyuk had died.
Kornelyuk was 37. He was born in Ukraine's Zaporozhye region. He is survived by his wife and a 7-year-old daughter.
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has immediately reacted on the news about the death of a Russian journalist in Ukraine. VGTRK correspondent Igor Kornelyuk’s death again showed criminal essence of forces that unfolded punitive operation in Ukraine’s east, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We demand that the Ukrainian authorities conduct an objective investigation of this tragedy and properly punish those guilty,” the ministry said. “We expect global media to resolutely and unambiguously condemn the regular crime of the Ukrainian military.”
Russian journalist’s death is a regular war crime of Ukrainian army and neo-Nazis, Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law Konstantin Dolgov has said adding that Moscow expects proper response from international structures to Russian reporter's death. “The crime must be thoroughly investigated and those guilty punished in the most severe way,” Dolgov said.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, has condemned the killing of Russian journalist Igor Kornelyuk in eastern Ukraine.
“This death is yet another horrid reminder that not enough is being done to protect journalists who risk their lives reporting from conflict zones in Ukraine,” Mijatovic said in a statement. “I call on the authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this deadly attack and to hold those responsible accountable.”
VGTRK said the journalist had been wounded in mortar fire by Ukrainian military near the suburban village of Metallist.
Fighting near the regional center Luhansk has continued unabated since Monday night. A column of armored vehicles tried to enter the city but was stopped by local militia.
The group of journalists was at the militia checkpoint near the Metallist village when the shelling began. A militiaman hurried to help a group of refugees leaving the village and Viktor Denisov went with him to take a video. In the first explosion, the militia man was badly wounded in the arm. All the journalists were wearing identification signs showing their belonging to mass media, according to the report.