Alexander Klimchuk, 27, and Grigol Chikhladze, 30, were killed in
regional capital, Tskhinvali, according to news reports and CPJ interviews.
Russian press reports said Klimchuk, head of the
Tbilisi-based Caucasus Images photo agency, was on assignment for the
Russian news service Itar-Tass. Chikhladze, a freelancer and member
of Caucasus Images, was
covering the conflict for Russian
Newsweek. The two journalists had freelanced for a number of Russian and
international news agencies.
The Russian business daily Kommersant, citing information from Caucasus Images, said the
journalists were killed by South Ossetian militia. Kommersant reported that Klimchuk, Chikhladze, and two other
reporters–U.S. journalist Winston Featherly and Georgian colleague Temuri
Kiguradze of the Tbilisi-based, English-language newspaper The Messenger–were trying to avoid a
roadblock set up by South Ossetian militia when they saw a group of armed men.
The journalists reportedly could not identify whether the
armed men were Georgian soldiers or South Ossetian militiamen because it was
dark. Klimchuk greeted them in Georgian and the armed men started shooting, Kommersant reported. Klimchuk and
Chikhladze died at the scene, while Featherly and Kiguradze were wounded and hospitalized.