Sky News chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay has revealed how he was badly wounded in an ambush outside Kyiv – one of a number of journalists attacked in Ukraine.
The incident occurred on Monday, 28 February, but only came to light several days later following the escape of his Sky team from the country. He was replaced in Kyiv by Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford.
Writing in the Daily Mail Ramsay (pictured) explained how the Sky team’s rental Hyundai saloon was hit with up to 1,000 bullets in a targeted attack that continued despite their shouts of “journalist”.
Producer Dominique van Heerden was also in the car as well as cameraman Richie Mockler (who continued filming throughout the attack), producer Martin Vowles and translator Andrii Lytvynenko.
The five managed to scramble away from the car and down a nearby embankment from where they walked to an industrial building.
Ramsay was shot in the upper leg with the bullet wound exiting through his lower back but missing his vital organs.
He said the car was “absolutely shredded” by bullets.
That night the Sky team was rescued by local police, with the local police chief hosting them in his own home
Ramsay believes he was ambushed by a Russian reconnaissance unit.
He said: “The Russians whom we never saw were not fighting a war against uniformed foes in armoured vehicles — but attempting to kill unarmed journalists operating in a standard saloon car in cold blood.”
Ramsay said he plans to return to Kyiv when he has recovered to “bear witness to what I fear is an unspeakable looming catastrophe for the brave people of Ukraine”.
Cameraman killed in attack on Ukraine TV transmitter
On Tuesday, 1 March, Ukrainian news cameraman Yevhenii Sakun was killed when Russian forces shelled a television tower in Kyiv.
Sakun, 49, had been covering the Russian invasion for the Ukrainian TV station LIVE. Four others are believed to have died in that attack.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, TV broadcast towers have been shelled in other Ukrainian cities.
Danish journalists shot
On 26 February, two journalists from the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet were shot while reporting near the eastern Ukrainian city of Ohtyrka.
Unidentified attackers reportedly fired multiple times at reporter Stefan Weichart (who was wounded in the shoulder) and photographer Emil Filtenborg (who was wounded in the legs and back). The pair were clearly identified as journalists on their protective equipment and shouted “press” during the attack. They were able to make their own escape and are expected to recover.
Swiss journalist wounded
Swiss journalist Guillaume Briquet was reportedly hospitalised and wounded after Russian soldiers fired on his car marked PRESS. They reportedly confiscated his passport, 3,000 Euros in cash and his laptop, according to Ukraine-based news outlet Hromadske.
Briquet later told Reporters Without Borders: “They were less than 50 metres away. They clearly shot to kill. If I hadn’t ducked, I would have been hit. I’ve been fired on before in other war zones, but I’ve never seen this. Journalists traveling around the country with no war experience are in mortal danger.”
According to RSF, he was injured in the face and arm by glass splinters from his windshield, and bullets came within centimetres of his head.
Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, said: “As this incident clearly illustrates, reporters in the field are targets for belligerents despite all the rules protecting journalists. They are civilians, who are keeping the world informed about the progress of the fighting. They must be able to work safely.
“We therefore call on all parties to the conflict to immediately commit to protecting journalists in the field in accordance with international law. We also recommend that journalists exercise the utmost caution in the light of the many attacks by Russian commandos sent ahead as scouts.”
Alaraby TV journalists under fire
A crew for London-based Arab TV channel Alaraby TV came under fire on Sunday 6 March.
Reporter Adnan Can and cameraman Habib Demirci were shot at in their car in a Kyiv suburb despite the vehicle having a white flag and “press” signs attached to it. The pair then hid with residents while fighting was taking place according to The New Arab, which is part of the same media network.
Journalists remain in Ukraine
The BBC’s Clive Myrie left Kyiv at the weekend and managed to drive with his team to Romania, but hundreds of foreign reporters remain in Kyiv and Ukraine including at least 50 UK journalists.
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