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Anadolu journalists are shocked by the Russians' audacity and say there were no soldiers in the hotel

11.01.2024, 16:18

The journalists of the Turkish news agency Anadolu who were injured by the Russian shelling strike on the Park Hotel in Kharkiv said that they were shocked by the audacity of the Russians, since this site was exclusively civilian and no military personnel were present.

Journalist Davit Kachkachishvili and photographer Özge Elif Kızıl spoke to the Kharkiv investigators about this, reports Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the National Security Service in the Kharkiv oblast.

Bolvinov quotes the Turkish correspondents as saying that they miraculously survived the missile strike. It was not the first time the journalists had stayed in a hotel that was attacked by the Russians. They work in the Kharkiv oblast and record the Russian army's war crimes. This time they had arrived on January 6.

At the time of the strike, both were in their rooms on the second floor.

Davit Kachkachishvili told the investigator that he sensed a terrible impact, then another, glass shards were flying around.

"I was injured by broken glass. And I immediately ran outside. I was very scared for my colleague, she was in the next room. This is an audacious attack on an ordinary hotel, we always used to stay there on our business trips, it is almost in the center of the city, and we did not expect the Russians to attack it. There were no soldiers there," the journalist said.

Photographer Özge Elif Kızıl said that she heard a loud explosion and was in shock.

"There was dust, I could not see anything. I was in such a state that I barely understood anything, I did not realize what was happening. I was in a state of shock, debris was flying my way. When I ran outside, I saw my colleague there with a bloody hand," she said.

The car which the journalists used to drive around the Kharkiv oblast and film the impact of the Russian attacks was parked near the hotel and was also damaged by the explosion.

The journalists noted that the hotel is an exclusively civilian site and this time they saw the way the Russians "wage war" with their own eyes.

As the IMI reported, journalist Davit Kachkachishvili and photographer Özge Elif Kızıl of the Turkish news agency Anadolu were injured by the Russian shelling strike of the Park Hotel in Kharkiv on January 10. The crew's car was destroyed as well.

The head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, Oleh Synehubov, said that the Russians fired two S-300 missiles at the hotel around 10:30 p.m.

Volodymyr Tymoshko, the head of the Main Office of the National Police in the Kharkiv oblast, said that Russia had shelled the hotel in Kharkiv deliberately and that all the victims were civilians. He noted that the hotel was primarily used by international journalists.

"Soldiers have never stayed in this hotel, almost all of Kharkiv knows that. This hotel was used by journalists. It was a well-known fact. At the time of the attack, foreign journalists, namely from Turkiye, were staying in the hotel. This leads me to believe that the Russian Federation was targeting the mass media specifically," said Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov.

IMI monitors Russia's crimes against the media and journalists in Ukraine. In the year and ten months since the start of the full-scale invasion, Russia has committed 548 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine.

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