European Federation of Journalists

Ukraine: Three journalists injured in Russian missiles strike

Rescuers cordon off the area surrounding a destroyed hotel following a missile strike in Kharkiv, on 11 January 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Credits: SERGEY BOBOK / AFP

On the evening of 10 January, a Russian missile attack damaged the Park Hotel in Kharkiv, injuring Anadolu’s reporter Davit Kachkachishvili, photojournalist Özge Elif Kızıl, and Ukrainian fixer Violetta-Anastasia Pedorych. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) strongly condemn the attack and demand that journalists should be treated and protected as civilians.

Anadolu reporter Davit Kachkachishvili and photojournalist Özge Elif Kızıl, who were on duty at the Park Hotel at the time of the attack, were able to leave the hotel with minor injuries, Anadolureports.

According to the IFJ/EFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Ukrainian fixer Violetta-Anastasia Pedorych, working for French TV channel France 2, was also injured in the strike, with in cuts on her face and her hands.

The Turkish journalists, whose car was severely damaged, were ordered to evacuate the area. The media confirmed that both journalists only suffered from minor injuries, and that they were immediately taken to the hospital for further checks.

The strike damaged not only the hotel, but other infrastructures in the city, including two apartment blocks.

This was another attack among many that Ukraine is suffering, as the pace of Russian air strikes continues to increase. Three hotels where teams of journalists were staying have been hit in recent weeks in what appear to be deliberate attacks “to limit the coverage of the war in International media,” declared President of NUJU Sergiy Tomilenko.

IFJ Turkish affiliate, DİSK Basın-İş, commented on the missile attack declaring that “targeting journalists, healthcare workers and civilians is a war crime.”

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger and EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutierrez said: “In war times, journalists must be protected as civilians and be able to report on the ground. Targeting journalists in crisis areas is an obstacle to press freedom. We stand in solidarity with all journalists on front lines in Ukraine and with all those injured. As the sad anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaches, we call for the horrors we witness daily to cease and for journalists to be able to carry on their work safely.