Paris, March 23, 2022 — In response to the death of Russian journalist Oksana Baulina amid Russian forces’ attacks on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for the safety of journalists and all civilians to be respected during the conflict:
“We are profoundly saddened by the death of Oksana Baulina, who was tragically killed while on assignment for The Insider,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “This is another demonstration of the cruelty of Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has already claimed the lives of at least four other journalists. Ukrainian and Russian authorities must do everything in their power to ensure the safety of journalists and all other civilians, and to thoroughly investigate attacks on members of the press.”
Baulina, a reporter for the independent Latvia-based investigative news website The Insider, was killed on Wednesday, March 23, while reporting in Kyiv’s Podilskyi district, according to a statement published by her outlet, media reports, and The Insider deputy editor Timur Olevskiy, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
Baulina was covering Russian forces’ shelling of the city at the time she was killed, according to those sources. The Russian military increased its shelling of residential areas near the center of Kyiv early Wednesday, according to media reports.
The Insider reported that another civilian died in the attack that killed Baulina, and two people accompanying her were wounded and hospitalized.
Baulina covered topics including Russian politics and corruption. Before joining The Insider, she worked for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, until the organization was put on the list of extremist organizations in June 2021 and she was forced to leave Russia, according to The Insider’s statement.
CPJ emailed the Russian and Ukrainian Ministries of Defense for comment, but did not receive any replies.
At least four other journalists have been killed since Russia started its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.
[Editors’ note: This article has been updated to identify Timur Olevskiy as Baulina’s colleague who spoke with CPJ, and to remove an incorrect reference to Baulina’s place of residence.]