Oksana Haidar, a 54-year-old Ukrainian journalist and blogger better known under the pseudonym “Ruda Pani,” was killed on or around March 11, 2022, by Russian artillery shelling of the village of Shevchenkove, northeast of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, according to a May 6 Facebook post by her friend, Larysa Vakulnytska, and a report by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), a local trade union. Russian forces were heavily shelling the Brovary district, where Shevchenkove is located, at the time, according to reports.
Haidar’s body was found along with her mother’s on April 7 in a home garden in Shevchenkove, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office told local press freedom group Institute of Mass Information (IMI). They died from injuries received during the shelling, according to the prosecutor’s office.
On April 8, the prosecutor’s office of the Kyiv region opened criminal proceedings over the death of Haidar and her mother under part 2 of Article 438 of the Ukrainian criminal code for “violation of the laws and customs of war,” IMI reported, and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office told CPJ via email.
Haidar, who had been living in the Russian capital Moscow, moved to Ukraine after her husband died in the summer of 2021 and was living with her mother in Shevchenkove, Alla Lazareva, a correspondent and deputy chief editor of the Ukrainian weekly magazine Ukrainski Tyzhden, and close friend of Haidar, told CPJ via messaging app.
Lazareva told CPJ that Haidar had been active on social media, posting news and commentary for the past 10 years and openly criticizing Russia’s policy toward Ukraine. She posted “until her last day” on her Twitter account, where she had about 5,300 followers, and “reported about everything that happened under occupation,” Lazareva told CPJ.
In her last tweet, dated March 11, she announced that she was deleting Twitter and reported that the Russian forces were not letting anyone leave the occupied city where she lived.
Haidar posted historical articles on her personal website until 2017. Haidar’s former classmate and NUJU first secretary Lina Kushch told CPJ via messaging app that Haidar was posting news commentary on her Facebook page, where she had about 13,000 followers, until March 2021, when she stopped for an unknown reason.
Kushch told the NUJU that Haidar had previously worked for Ukraine’s state news agency Ukrinform. Lazareva specified to CPJ that Haidar had not worked for any known outlet recently.
CPJ emailed the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine but did not receive any replies.’s