The death of the operator was confirmed today by the National Police and IFJ/EFJ affiliate National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU). According to Ruslana Pakhalyuk, chief of staff of NEWS Network Holding, they are trying to contact Yevhenii Sakun's family as Sakun's flat in the capital is closed and there are no neighbours.
NEWS Network holding stated they are ready to help with the funeral, to provide support to the relatives. In addition, its employees are providing nationwide support with a news telethon covering Ukraine's fight against Russia and its journalists and operators are participating in creating joint national news content to protect Ukraine.
Sakun's fellow Ukrainian correspondent, Olga Tokariuk, confirmed the cameraman's death officially: "It was a pleasure working with him. I am devastated by this news," she said, accompanying the message with a photo of the murdered cameraman's professional press card.
The IFJ recalls that, under international humanitarian law, journalists are considered as civilians and they and media infrastructure should not be targeted for military purpose.
In a separate incident, Danish reporters Stefan Weichert and photographer Emil Filtenborg Mikkelsen were shot by unidentified attackers on their way to cover a shelling in the town of Ohtyrka in north-eastern Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian government, 2.000 civilians have already been killed since the start of hostilities by Putin's army. IFJ, EFJ and their Ukrainian affiliates NUJU and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) expressed their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sakun and urged respect for journalists' safety reporting on the ground.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We are deeply saddened by the death of our colleague Yevhenii Sakun, killed in a reckless Russian attack on a civilian infrastructure in Kiev. All parties to the conflict must protect local and international journalists and stop targeting media workers who are risking their life to inform the world about the war."