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France 2 fixer injured in Kharkiv has a glass shard stuck in her nose bridge

15.01.2024, 13:42

Ukrainian fixer for the TV channel France 2, Violetta Pedorych, is feeling well after the Januray 10 shelling strike on Park Hotel (Kharkiv), but a glass shard is stuck in the bridge of her nose. The doctors will observe it for some time, said Violetta in her comment to the Institute of Mass Information.

"If everything heals and causes no trouble, they will leave it there. If the inflammation doesn't go away, they will try to look for it, they may have to cut out some tissue," she added. Violetta agrees that the occupiers are targeting hotels where journalists stay.

According to her, the crew, which besides her included journalist Anaïs Hanquet and camerawoman Valérie Lucas, was returning from Pokrovsk (Donetsk oblast) that day. They were on their way to Sumy, but since they were a little behind their schedule, they stopped for the night in Kharkiv. They have stayed at the Park Hotel several times before, so they went there on January 10 as well, as the hotel had vacant rooms.

"We arrived at approximately 10:20 p.m. I don't remember the exact time. We check in. We head to the elevator. Apparently, as we were in the elevator, there was an air raid alert that we did not hear. We come out on the third floor. Journalists were supposed to stay in one part of the hotel and I in another one. I already knew where my room was, but they were still looking for theirs," says Violetta.

Photo by Violetta Pedorych on Instagram

According to her, she had enough time to enter the room and turn on the light. Then the first missile hit. Violetta says she immediately realised what was happening. She went out into the corridor with a flashlight, there she heard the voices of her colleagues. Then there was a second impact.

As the fixer notes, her colleagues were still in the corridor during the first blow, so they were unharmed. She, however, had already got to her room, and although she was far from the window, she was cut by glass shards.

"There was a lot of blood flowing down my face. But I could feel that I was okay. I mean that there was nothing to worry about," notes Violetta Pedorych.

Despite the panic, which was natural in that situation, Violetta and her colleagues found a way to go down to the first floor, and then got outside through a window.

The doctors who examined the media worker on the spot offered to hospitalize her, but she refused. Then she and her colleagues went to the subway, as the editorial management instructed them to protect their employees from further possible danger.

She added that their driver had friends in Kharkiv so he went to spend the night with them, which was why the team's car survived, unlike the car of the Turkish news agency Anadolu and multiple other cars parked next to the hotel.

"Speaking of Park Hotel, we did always meet crews from French ir American TV channels whenever we arrived. It was a well-known hotel among journalists. Representatives of international organizations also used to stay there," added Violetta.

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 Ukrainian fixer for the channel France 2, Violetta Pedorych, was also injured.

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.

The police opened a case for violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 1 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

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 Tymoshko.

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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