Addressing a press-briefing on Monday, president of the Freedom House David Kramer said it is necessary to conduct unbiased investigations into all cases of violence against journalists, however, according to the US-based organization’s information, only four out of 300 such cases reached the courts in Ukraine.
“Journalism is a key part of any democracy, and in Ukraine this is not different,” Kramer was cited as saying.
In the most recent chain of tragic events involving journalists working in Ukraine, Russian state news agency Rossiya Segodnya, formerly RIA Novosti, confirmed earlier this month that its photojournalist Andrei Stenin was killed in Ukraine in early August.
Stenin disappeared in embattled southeast Ukraine while reporting on the armed conflict in Donetsk, Slavyansk and other war-torn areas of the country. Contact with him was lost on August 5. Russia's Investigative Committee said the photographer was killed when Ukrainian military opened fire on a refugee convoy near Donetsk on August 6.
Work of journalists in Ukraine’s embattled southeastern regions repeatedly raised international concerns in terms of their security and the killing of 33-year-old Stenin added up to murders of other journalists working in Russia’s war-torn neighboring country.
Russian television journalist Anatoly Klyan was killed in late June after a bus he was riding in with other journalists came under fire in the Donetsk Region. The 68-year-old journalist worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One and had 40 years of television work experience.
Two correspondents from Russian central television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk 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.
Moreover, on May 24 Italian photo correspondent Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed in mortar fire near the city of Slavyansk.