On March 11, 2022, Viktor Dedov, a senior camera operator at the Mariupol-based independent television station Sigma TV, was killed when a shell hit his apartment building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, according to a Facebook post by his wife and colleague Natalia Dedova, and a statement by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU).
Dedov was at home in his apartment when he died, Dedova told the journalists’ union. Russian forces were heavily shelling the city at the time, according to news reports.
In a documentary film entitled “Mariupol. The Chronicles of Hell,” which premiered on YouTube on May 3, Dedova and Dedov’s son Sasha explained that a first shell hit the family’s balcony and a second one hit the room that Dedov was in.
“I entered the hallway and saw him lying on the ottoman that we gave Sasha for the New Year. An orange ottoman. His pose looked somewhat unnatural. His carotid artery was ruptured. My friends later told me: ‘Natasha, he died straightaway, he didn’t suffer,’” Dedova recounted in the documentary. She said she was injured in the head by the first shell.
Aina Chahyr, a former director of privately owned Mariupol TV channel TV-7, where Dedov worked before joining Sigma TV, told the NUJU that she had never met a better cameraman.
The NUJU reported on April 14 that Dedov and his wife, an editor for Sigma TV, kept on filming Mariupol and interviewing its residents “even during the active phase of the war, even when communications in Mariupol disappeared.”
Mariupol’s city council reported on March 11 that at least 1,582 civilians had been killed as a result of Russian shelling and a 12-day blockade, according to media reports. Mariupol faced continued attacks as of early May 2022, according to reports, with casualties in the tens of thousands.
CPJ emailed the Russian Ministry of Defense but did not receive any replies.