The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have issued a renewed demand for all factions in Ukraine to respect the rights and freedom of local and international media staff following the death of atleast one Russian media worker today, Tuesday 17 June.
According to media reports, journalist Igor Kornelyuk, who worked for the ‘Russia Today’ TV channel, died from wounds sustained during a Ukrainian military mortar attack near Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine. Initial reports said his sound engineer, Anton Voloshin, had also been killed on the spot, but his whereabouts remain unknown.
Korneluyk died a few hours after the incident in hospital, while the crew’s cameraman, Viktor Denisov, is reported to have survived.
Ukraine remains an extremely dangerous country for journalists. In February this year, Ukrainain journalist, Vaicheslav Veremi, died after being shot in the stomach. And in May, the IFJ reported that Italian journalist Andrea Rochelli was killed in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, while covering fighting between government forces and pro-Russian insurgent. His Russian interpreter, Andrey Mironov, was also killed in the incident.
“We send our respects to the families and colleagues of the journalist Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Their tragic deaths once again convey the dangerous situation that exists in Ukraine and the continuing disdain for media freedom and rights, and indeed human life, among all factions in this conflict.
“We reiterate our demand for on all sides in this struggle to respect the rights of local and international journalists to move freely and to report the truth without fear of intimidation, violence, or losing their lives. We also call on the president of Ukraine to immediately carry out an independent investigation into this incident and to ensure the perpetrators face justice."
IFJ/EFJ affiliate, theRussian Union of Journalists (RUJ), has expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the two media workers, saying: “We are shocked by this tragic news and call on our colleagues and representatives of national and international organisations to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of journalists who continue to work in conflict zones.”
Backing the RUJ call, the IFJ and the EFJ have reissued their appeal for all journalists reporting in Ukraine to ensure they take every measure required to re-ensure their safety at all times.
The IFJ Safety Guidelines for journalists reporting in Ukraine are available HERE and include a range of practical advice and information, including guidance on preparing your trip effectively and gaining accreditation, as well as the correct protective clothing to wear and how to act in case of arrest or detention.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries