Frontline diary: A day in the life of a Ukraine war correspondent

Ruslan Smieshchuk (right) poses with Ukrainian military press officer Iryna Rybakova while on assignment in June 2022 outside the Russian-occupied city Izyum in eastern Ukraine. (Photo: Ruslan Smieshchuk)

“War is a lot of pain and grief,” says Ruslan Smieshchuk, a reporter for privately owned Ukrainian TV channel Inter. In interviews with CPJ, Smieshchuk recounted a single day of his reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: filming the rubble of a bombed school, navigating multiple military checkpoints, and riding to the frontline amid artillery fire.

At least 12 journalists have been killed while covering the conflict, now in its fifth month, and CPJ is investigating whether three others died because of their work.

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  • CPJ urges Brazilian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the June murders of journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira

Russia-Ukraine war

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A Ukrainian flag waves over a house destroyed by shelling in the village of Moshchun, in the Kyiv region, on June 2, 2022. (AFP/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Safety advice for journalists covering war and related unrest

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Deaths in Ukraine

Motive confirmed (12)

1
Ihor Hudenko, Freelance, killed in Kharkiv on February 26
2
Yevhenii Sakun, LIVE, killed in Kyiv on March 1
3
Viktor Dedov, Sigma-TV, killed in Mariupol on March 11
4
Oksana Haidar, Freelance, killed in Shevchenkove around March 11 – April 7
5
Brent Renaud, Time, killed in Irpin on March 13
6
Maks Levin, LB.ua, body found April 1 near Huta-Mezhyhirska, missing on March 13
7
Pierre Zakrzewski, Fox News, killed in Horenka on March 14
8
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Fox News, killed in Horenka on March 14
9
Oksana Baulina, The Insider, killed in Kyiv on March 23
10
Mantas Kvedaravicius, Freelance, killed in Mariupol on April 2
11
Vira Hyrych, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, killed in Kyiv on April 28
12
Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, BFMTV, killed in Lysychansk on May 30

Motive unconfirmed (3)

1
Zoreslav Zamoysky, Freelance, killed in Bucha around March 4 – April 12
2
Roman Nezhyborets, Dytynets, killed in Yahidne around March 5-9
3
Yevhenii Bal, Freelance, killed in Manhush on April 2


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Journalists Attacked

Dom Phillips

MURDERED

British freelance journalist Dom Phillips went missing on June 5, 2022, during a reporting trip in the Brazilian Amazon, and his remains were found with gunshot wounds on June 15. Reports later found that Phillips and Indigenous issues expert Bruno Pereira, who was traveling with him, were shot and killed the morning they went missing.

CPJ has called on Brazilian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the murders and to hold those responsible to account.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

journalists killed in 2022 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2021
missing globally