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Crew of Russian TV journalists come under mortar fire in Ukraine

July 01, 2014, 14:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“The crew members were swept by an explosion wave,” the press service of REN-TV said

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REN-TV journalists

REN-TV journalists


MOSCOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian REN-TV television channel’s filming crew came under mortar fire near Izvarino border check point in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region bordering on Russia. The broadcaster’s press service reported this on Tuesday.

The press service said correspondent Denis Kulagin was shell-shocked and sustained hearing loss. There was no immediate information on the state of health of the cameraman.

“The crew members were swept by an explosion wave,” the press service said.

The journalists were covering a story on how self-defense forces in the region were tracking down artillery spotters from the pro-Kiev military forces.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko terminated ceasefire in the embattled regions, primarily in Donetsk and Luhansk.

On June 20, Poroshenko declared a week-long ceasefire in the country’s southeast and on late Friday he announced a three-day extension of the ceasefire. However, there were numerous reports that the truce had been violated.


Casualties among Russian journalists

Three Russian journalists covering the developments in the embattled regions of Ukraine were killed within the past month. The most recent tragic death of a Russian journalist came on Sunday night.

Anatoly Klyan, 68, was among other journalists on a bus with mothers of military conscripts going to a pro-Kiev military unit in the Donetsk Region to demand the off-duty release of their sons, when the vehicle came under gunfire. Klyan, who worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One, sustained a lethal gun wound in the abdomen and died upon his hospitalization.

Two correspondents from Russian state television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17.

They came under mortar fire near a roadblock of militia as they were filming a TV report about people’s militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone. Journalists bore clearly visible media insignia at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew. Sound engineer Voloshin died at the scene and Kornelyuk died later at a local hospital.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia since April as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.

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