Vira Hyrych

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Vira Hyrych, a journalist for the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian service, was killed by Russian shelling on April 28, 2022, according to a statement by RFE/RL and Hyrych’s colleague Oleksandr Demchenko, who posted about her death on Facebook. 

On the evening of April 28, while the UN Secretary-General António Guterres was visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Russian forces shelled a residential apartment building in the Shevchenko district of Kyiv, where Hyrych lived, according to the RFE/RL statement and news reports.

The attack killed Hyrych and injured at least four people, according to reports. Her body was recovered amid the wreckage on the morning of April 29.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our Ukrainian Service staffer Vira Hyrych in Kyiv overnight. We have lost a dear colleague who will be remembered for her professionalism and dedication to our mission,” RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said in a statement.

Hyrych had worked as a planning producer in the Kyiv bureau of RFE/RL since February 2018, coordinating coverage with journalists, camera operators, and correspondents, according to the RFE/RL statement and Demchenko, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app. In remarks prepared for her memorial service on May 3, 2022, Fly said that Hyrych "coordinated assignments for all of our field correspondents throughout the war and was key to the remarkable frontline reporting that RFE/RL has done for audiences in Ukraine." He added the last video she produced "told the story of an 87-year-old holocaust survivor and her 94-year-old Russian husband, a retired navy officer, who were evacuated from Mariupol to Kyiv."

Hyrych previously worked on leading Ukrainian TV channels, such as the privately-owned television channels 1+1, Espreso TV, and STB.

CPJ emailed the Russian Ministry of Defense but did not receive any replies.