Three journalists from the Russian newspaper Izvestia were injured in an attack on Donetsk, Ukraine on Tuesday. The newspaper reported that correspondent Evgeny Bykovsky was wounded in the chest and will undergo surgery, while his colleagues Aleksey Poltoranin and Aleksandr Martemyanov sustained injuries to their legs, chest, and abdomen respectively, but their injuries are not life-threatening.
The attack occurred when Ukrainian troops used multiple rocket launchers to strike a train station in Donetsk, where fuel tanks had caught fire. According to Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the journalists were among 14 civilians injured during the shelling. He also stated that two first responders were hurt while putting out a fire caused by an earlier attack. Several buildings in the area were damaged as well.
Donetsk, located near the frontline of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, has been a frequent target of attacks. During a Security Council briefing, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, accused Kiev of using Western-supplied munitions to target civilian infrastructure in Donbass and other areas. Polyansky presented evidence of a US-made HIMARS missile that allegedly hit a government building in Kherson in September, resulting in the deaths of three people and injuries to several others.
The incident involving the injured journalists highlights the dangers faced by media personnel covering conflicts. Journalists put their lives at risk to report on the ground, often in hostile and volatile environments. Attacks on journalists not only endanger their lives but also have a chilling effect on press freedom and the flow of accurate information.
In recent years, there has been a growing concern for the safety of journalists worldwide. Various organizations and initiatives have been established to promote the protection of journalists and to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom. Governments and media outlets have a responsibility to prioritize the safety and well-being of journalists and to hold accountable those who perpetrate violence against them.
The injuries sustained by the three journalists serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by reporters in their pursuit of truth and the risks they face while on the frontlines of conflicts. The international community must continue to work together to ensure the safety of journalists and to create an environment where they can carry out their vital work without fear of harm.