Russian troops are deliberately targeting journalists – IMI expert
The Russian troops have been deliberately murdering Ukrainian and foreign journalists covering the situation on the front line over the course of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The head of the freedom of speech monitoring department of the Institute of Mass Information, Kateryna Dyachuk, spoke about this while commenting on the monthly monitoring "Freedom of Speech Barometer" on Hromadske Radio.
"When journalists would go to the front line to report on the war, the Russians would target them with drones. They fly by, they see media workers with a 'PRESS' sticker, and they fire at them," Kateryna said.
She mentioned the story of the Ukrainian photojournalist and documentarist, Maksym Levin, who was killed by the Russian occupiers. He went missing on March 13, 2022, on the front line in the Vyshgorod district near Kyiv, where he was doing his job recording the Russian war crimes.
On April 1, 2022, the police found him murdered in a forest near Huta-Mezhyhirska, Vyshgorod district, on the outskirts of Kyiv. According to the prosecutors, Russian soldiers killed him with two shots from a light weapon.
"Maksym was killed by the Russian troops, and they knew that he was a journalist the whole time. Because Maksym was marked – in a bulletproof vest, always with a camera. There is no chance that the Russians don't not know what they are doing. Their goal has always been to silence anyone who thinks differently than the Kremlin regime," Kateryna added.
She also spoke of the Ukrainian producer for the Italian 'La Repubblica', Bohdan Bitik, who worked with the newspaper's correspondent Corrado Zunino and was killed by a Russian strike on Kherson on April 26.
According to 'La Repubblica', the journalists were ambushed by Russian snipers as they got out of their car near the Antoniv bridge. Both had the "PRESS" labels on them. Corrado says that he was wearing a vest labeled "Pressa". "Russians noticed them and killed them," adds Kateryna Dyachuk.
We remind you that since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russia has killed 69 journalists. 10 of them died while reporting, 59 died as combatants (46) or were killed by Russian shelling or torture (13).
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