European Federation of Journalists

Ukraine: Two Russian journalists killed within three days in occupied Donetsk region

Two Russian journalists have been killed in separate incidents in Russia’s occupied Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Journalist of, Nikita Tsitsagi, died on 16 June, in a drone attack amidst ongoing battles. Earlier, Valery Kozhin, a cameraman of Russian state-controlled media NTV, also died after a shelling attack near Horlivka, on 13 June. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) strongly condemn these killings and urge the authorities to conduct a swift investigation into the deaths of the journalists.

According to a report from, Tsitsagi lost his life while reporting in the town of Vugledar, which was affected by months of fighting. The journalist was recognised for his contributions to covering conflict zones for several local media outlets, including the Russian-language online newspaper and two media operating in exile, the online magazines Novaya Vkladka and Holod. 

Tsitsagi’s death occurred very close to another incident involving a cameraman from NTV, Valery Kozhin, highlighting the dangers faced by media professionals covering the war in Ukraine. 

NTV had previously claimed that their staff, cameraman Kozhin and correspondent Alexei Ivliyev, sustained serious injuries in a Ukrainian shelling attack and had been taken to a hospital, where Kozhin died.     

The IFJ and EFJ call for a swift investigation into the circumstances surrounding Kozhin and Tsitsagi’s death and urge all parties involved to respect the safety and neutrality of journalists operating in conflict zones.

“We deplore the death of two further journalists in this deadly conflict and urge the authorities to immediately investigate their killings. We demand warring parties to protect journalists so that they can carry out their duties safely.”