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Deceased La Repubblica fixer had no UAF accreditation – Humenyuk

27.04.2023, 16:56
Bohdan Bitik on the left. Photo:
Bohdan Bitik on the left. Photo:

The Ukrainian fixer and producer of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Bohdan Bitik, who was killed by a Russian attack in Kherson on April 26, had not been accredited by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The operational command "South" spokeswoman, Natalia Humenyuk, told this to the Suspilne.

According to her, the La Repubblica crew also had not received permission to work in the "red zone".

"They did not have a permit, they did not contact the military, they had driven into the 'red zone' in violation of the rules. Somehow, they passed the checkpoints," Humenyuk noted.

The OC "South" is preparing an appeal to the General Staff to request that the accreditation of the filming crew is revoked.

Bitik's body was evacuated and taken to the morgue for a forensic examination on April 26. An investigation into violations of the laws and customs of war has been opened, according to the press service of the Kherson regional prosecutor's office.

As IMI reported, on April 26, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that their correspondent Corrado Zunino had been wounded in a Russian attack. At the time of the attack, he was with the fixer Bohdan Bitik, who was killed.

According to IMI's sources in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Bitik had no bulletproof vest and was wearing only a vest with a "Press" badge. The Italian correspondent, however, was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Law enforcers have started a pre-trial investigation into the wounding of Corrado Zunino, a reporter with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. A case for violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) has been opened.

The Center for Strategic Communications has said that Corrado Zunino disregarded the warnings by the Ukrainian military: he did not inform the press officers that he was going to work in the city. "And when he was on the site, he ignored the Ukrainian military warning him about the danger and shouting, 'Danger, Sir!'" says the Center.

Also, the Center notes, as the leader of the crew, it was Zunino's obligation to ensure that a member of his group was not just in a vest with the PRESS badge, but had bulletproof armor on him. However, the Italian violated the rules of conduct for journalists in wartime.

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